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Jenniferinfl t1_j21oaj1 wrote

I didn't think it was that surprising.

Barnes and Nobles always had the best atmosphere of the big chains. Borders felt like a Kmart, no surprise when they closed. Books A Million had that Kmart feel too back in the day, but, they ripped a page out of BN's book and now look like Barnes on the inside.

People aren't just there for the books, they are there for an experience. Barnes and Noble got it in a way the other chains didn't.

If it feels like you are shopping in a Kmart, why not just shop online?

I go to Barnes and now Books a Million for the fun of walking through a predictable bookstore experience. I'm more likely to frequent my local bookstore, but, sometimes those big corporate places can be fun.


Decent_Blackberry742 t1_j22zozz wrote

I was devastated when Borders went out of business. I never understood why Barnes and Noble didn't (and still doesn't) have the computer kiosks throughout the store like Borders did. I liked being able to find books without having to ask the help desk.


michaelk4289 t1_j233ejt wrote

I worked at B&N for over a decade. It's because for any given title, there are likely 3-4 places it can be (section, endcap, table, maybe a second endcap) but only 1-2 copies on hand.

The system they used to manage inventory must have been coded by the same people who made Southwest's scheduling software.


Trilly2000 t1_j23lz6a wrote

Also, if a customer interacts with a bookseller they’re more likely to have a positive experience and possibly purchase more.


Nice_Sun_7018 t1_j23zvmd wrote

When I worked at B&N they actually piloted those. I guess they weren’t happy with the results because it (clearly) didn’t last. Anecdotal, but it also didn’t seem to help all that much. The kiosks would benefit some people, but you’d still get a ton of people coming to an employee because they still couldn’t find the book where it was supposed to be, or they couldn’t find the actual section itself, especially if it was a smaller one. The kiosks didn’t help at all for the “what’s the book with the dog who becomes an astronaut?” type questions, or the “I’m looking for something for my niece who is thirteen and having a birthday next week, what do you recommend?” ones.


Ineffable7980x t1_j24n3n5 wrote

I believe it was because Borders was late to adopt an online sales presence. Plus they over expanded and did so too rapidly.


T2and3 t1_j28nyrx wrote

Mine used to have them for close to a decade, but they got rid of them a while ago.


DoctorTwoB t1_j237wgf wrote

What do you have against Kmart, homie


Jenniferinfl t1_j23c2qp wrote

Eh the yellowed originally white vinyl floors, the flickering fluorescent with every third bulb dead. The smocks. The dismal feeling of a retailer on the way out.


SethManhammer t1_j23z39f wrote

Don't forget the nicely mixed scent of mildew and urine lurking down every isle, waiting to assault your nostrils.


tonyrocks922 t1_j247ux5 wrote

Interesting, I worked at Barnes & Noble for years in the early 00s and I always preferred Borders as a customer. I tried to get a job there over and over but was never able to.


thewhitecat55 t1_j24h2fm wrote

I liked the comfy leather chairs that were here and there to just sit and read a bit. To see if that particular book is for me.

And it REALLY worked in their favor , imo. The longer someone spends in your space , the more they may purchase.


Razorbackalpha t1_j22svfy wrote

Your on the money I think plus they also tend to have the biggest variety of manga and vinyls of any major store which gets in 2 devote niches to their stores. Plus with a membership they have some of the cheapest toys as well.