Executive Briefings

Why Has Barnes & Noble's Multichannel Retailing Experiment Been a Failure?

How could the merged channel/omnichannel strategy have failed Barnes & Noble so completely?

Think it's because Barnes & Noble is in the dead-tree book business? So is Amazon. Besides, at last report the brick-and-mortar bookstore business was still holding up (if only barely). It's the Nook e-reader and the chain's efforts to merge physical book and e-book retailing that have been a bottomless money pit. So why did Barnes & Noble"”having lost its biggest physical-store competitor when Borders went under"”fail to gain any merged channel/omnichannel traction?

It wasn't for lack of trying. The whole point behind putting William Lynch, who has resigned, in the CEO chair was that he had been running the chain's online operation. That didn't work out, in part because Lynch really, really didn't like physical bookstores"”so much that he moved out of the chain's Manhattan headquarters to work in the dot-com offices a mile away, and the CFO and other top executives followed him.

So much for merging the channels.

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Keywords: supply chain management, value chain, value chain IT, multichannel logistics, multichannel retailing

Think it's because Barnes & Noble is in the dead-tree book business? So is Amazon. Besides, at last report the brick-and-mortar bookstore business was still holding up (if only barely). It's the Nook e-reader and the chain's efforts to merge physical book and e-book retailing that have been a bottomless money pit. So why did Barnes & Noble"”having lost its biggest physical-store competitor when Borders went under"”fail to gain any merged channel/omnichannel traction?

It wasn't for lack of trying. The whole point behind putting William Lynch, who has resigned, in the CEO chair was that he had been running the chain's online operation. That didn't work out, in part because Lynch really, really didn't like physical bookstores"”so much that he moved out of the chain's Manhattan headquarters to work in the dot-com offices a mile away, and the CFO and other top executives followed him.

So much for merging the channels.

Read Full Article


Keywords: supply chain management, value chain, value chain IT, multichannel logistics, multichannel retailing