QUOTE AND NEWS
Motley Fool  Aug 17  Comment 
Even though the market rose today, these stocks fell. Find out why.
Motley Fool  Aug 17  Comment 
The struggling book retailer looked like it had stabilized sales under Ronald Boire, but apparently, the board of directors had a very different view.
newratings.com  Aug 17  Comment 
WASHINGTON (dpa-AFX) - Shares of Barnes & Noble (BKS) have moved sharply lower during trading on Wednesday, with the retail bookseller currently down by 12.8 percent. With the drop, Barnes & Noble has fallen to its lowest levels in over a...
BBC News  Aug 17  Comment 
Shares in the US books chain Barnes & Noble tumble after the firm sacks its chief executive for not being a "good fit" with the company.
CNNMoney.com  Aug 16  Comment 
Barnes & Noble's CEO got the boot on Tuesday.
MarketWatch  Aug 16  Comment 
Motley Fool  Aug 5  Comment 
The bookstore had a major release, but that only tells part of the story.
Benzinga  Jul 28  Comment 
It is quite likely that for the first time ever, the largest publishing event of the summer is a script for a play. According to a report by CNBC, the script of "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child" ranks as top desired pre-ordered item on both...
Benzinga  Jul 25  Comment 
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) disclosed that "Harry Potter and the Cursed Child," i.e. Parts I & II, is its most pre-ordered book after 2007. The previously most pre-ordered book was also Harry Potter for his the Deathly Hallows in...




 

Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) is the largest bookseller in terms of sales revenue in the United States.The company operates 1300+ stores and an online retailer Barnes & Noble.com. Its core business model relies on building local bookstores with comprehensive selection, attractive discounts and membership discount programs, and a community-gathering-place environment (e.g., the inclusion of a Starbucks cafe in each Barnes & Noble store).

Barnes & Noble has been suffering from diminishing margins as sales in the company's retail store struggle. Declining operating margins were mainly caused by higher discounts offered to compete with lower-priced online booksellers, one of the main negative pressures the print industry is facing right now due to a number of negative industry trends. To mitigate the company's slower retail book sales, Barnes & Noble has put a large amount of resources into the developing eBook market. As the demand for portable and low-cost books increases, the market for eBooks and eReaders will grow as well. Barnes & Noble's Nook offers wireless connectivity and access to millions of books. The company does face intense competition in the relatively young market, primarily from Amazon's Kindle 3, which has many of the same features as the Nook. The two companies have been engaged in price wars over the eReaders, something that is risky for Barnes & Noble. The two competitors also face competition from non-exclusive eReaders such as Apple's iPad.

Company Overview

Business Segments

Although the company does not give specific breakdowns of its business segments, it sells products in these general categories:

  • Books: Barnes & Noble stores offer a comprehensive selection of titles of trade and mass market books, ranging from 60,000 to 200,000 titles per store. Bestsellers represent 3-5% of all BKS sales.
  • Music/DVDs: Many Barnes & Noble stores have music/DVD departments, which range in size from 1,300 to 6,000 square feet and typically stock over 30,000 titles. The company’s DVD selection is focused on foreign films, documentaries and episodic TV shows.
  • Periodicals: Stores sell popular magazines and journals
  • Children's Books
  • Cafe: Each Barnes & Noble store features a cafe, serving Starbucks brand coffee and a range of baked goods. Starbucks (SBUX).

Business Growth

FY 2010 (ended May 1, 2010)[1]

  • Net income decreased 52% to $36.7 million.
  • Net sales increased 13.4% to $5.8 billion.

Trends and Forces

The eBook Revolution

The electronic book (eBook) revolution has arrived. Electronic readers (eReaders) offer portability and storage, language attributes, low cost for book purchases, access to millions of free books, and a smaller carbon footprint compared to print books among other benefits. As a result, eBook demand has skyrocketed, with revenue in the industry reaching $398 million in 2009 and expected sales to be $2.5 billion by 2013.[2]

The eBook revolution has spurred companies like Barnes & Noble and Amazon to develop their own eReaders. The two top eReaders in the market by sales are Barnes & Noble's Nook and Amazon's Kindle 3.

From Traditional to the Digital Market

Much of the slowdown in the sales revenue of the print retailers may be attributed to the increasing popularity and convenience of online retailers, especially Amazon.com. In fact, Barnes & Nobles expects the physical book market to decrease from $21 billion to $19 billion by 2013. Many online retailers are also a part of the CD and DVD retail segment, where Barnes & Noble has limited its exposure so as not to suffer from lagging sales of CDs due to digital media devices (mp3s), another edge for online retailers. To compete in the e-commerce sphere, Barnes & Noble established its own online retailing website.

Competition

The retail book market is slow to change and is at this point closed off from new superstore entrants. Barnes & Nobles looks to use its strong position as the leading U.S. bookseller to capitalize on its contracts with Starbucks for in-store cafes to maintain and grow its market share. Barnes & Nobles competes on two fronts, with other physical retailers and with internet booksellers.

Traditional Book Retailers

Barnes & Noble competes with other companies who share its model of having massive book superstores with thousands of titles.

  • Borders Group (BGP): Borders was the second largest book retailer in the U.S. and the largest mall-based bookseller in the country until it went bankrupt in 2011.
  • Books-A-Million (BAMM): Books-A-Million is a book retailer primarily in the southeastern US and is the third-largest book retailing chain in the country.

Online Booksellers

Amazon.com is the largest online competition for Barnes & Noble. Formerly partnered with Borders, Amazon offers the convenience of never having to leave your home to buy a book. Additionally, without some of the overhead inherent for B&M stores, Amazon.com can offer low prices or free shipping, leading to further price competition. Amazon also competes with Barnes & Noble's Nook in the eReader market with the Kindle 3.

Retail Megastores

Wal-Mart and Target are the main retail megastores, which sell everything from books to clothes to groceries. Despite not being a core sales segment of their business, these larger stores have had an impact on the sale of books by making best sellers more widely available. This puts pressure on traditional book retailers like Barnes & Noble to cut prices on bestsellers to retain store traffic, leading to diminished margins.

References

  1. BKS 2010 10-K "Selected Consolidated Financial Data" pg. F-1
  2. ZD Net "Kindle vs. Nook: The price war is on; E-reader shipments to surge?" 21 June 2010
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