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Barnes & Noble, Inc. Message Board

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  • mananath mananath Jan 12, 2003 11:55 AM Flag

    Re:Hey Jeffnet98 (Was Hey Growthowner)

    >>>>>>We can agree to disagree here, but rest assured that my assertions are backed up by plenty of real-life experiences. <<<<<<

    Real life experience assertions? HUH? Pardon me if I am naive but that just doesn't hold much weight with me as a valid argument. I have seen small Borders and small B&Ns. I have seen two floor B&Ns as well as Borders. I have also seen stores that appear larger because of their layout. If you want to accurately compare you need to get the sq footage. The most recent press releases from B&N state that newly leased stores will be 23, 24 and 26k sq ft. This is comparable if not a bit larger than most Borders stores (some recently opened BPG stores are coming in at 18k sq ft).
    A few years ago I could say with confidence that you could walk into a Borders and you would find A LOT more titles than a B&N. Today I am not too confident. Over the past 2 years Borders has been consistently gutting it's inventory and cutting back on titles. I have seen "sections" that used to be 5 shelves reduced to half a shelf. The store that I work at has seen about 20k in titles no longer being stocked. However, I can say with confidence that Borders does NOT concentrate on having the greatest number anymore. They concentrate on having the greatest number of selling items. This means 30 more copies of the latest Patterson novel instead of copies of an obscure economic topic. Also, you will notice that most Borders have been expanding in the gifts and stationary area. This is usually in prime retail real estate space and requires an increase in inventory dollars. This money is coming from somewhere -- it comes, in part, from the decrease in book and music titles.
    -mike

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    • >>>The most recent press releases from B&N state that newly leased stores will be 23, 24 and 26k sq ft. This is comparable if not a bit larger than most Borders stores...<<<

      Actually, the average size of Borders stores is 26,200 square feet.

      >>>A few years ago I could say with confidence that you could walk into a Borders and you would find A LOT more titles than a B&N. Today I am not too confident. Over the past 2 years Borders has been consistently gutting it's inventory and cutting back on titles. I have seen "sections" that used to be 5 shelves reduced to half a shelf. The store that I work at has seen about 20k in titles no longer being stocked. However, I can say with confidence that Borders does NOT concentrate on having the greatest number anymore.<<<

      Borders carries between 73,000 and 204,000 titles, compared to Barnes and Noble, which carries between 60,000 and 200,000. So it seems that you have a point that the gap is narrowing. I also did some research and found out that there are indeed some smaller Borders stores. (I haven't seen these.) I'll make it a point to go in and check out more B&K stores when I'm out and about, and see for myself how much things have changed. As a start, the next couple of times that I need a book right away, I'll go to both Borders and B&K, and see who has it in stock. Thanks for the input. --Jeff

      • 1 Reply to jeffnet98
      • Actually both chains are tending to open smaller stores than their early ones because all the big markets have stores or any store they are opening in a big market is in addition to existing stores. Borders just announced a new store in Kansas City, it's 6th, it's only 19,000 sq. ft.

        BN is now opening stores in places like Sioux City, IA and Valparaiso, IN. Fine places I'm sure but places that don't justify 30,000+ stores.

        In my market BN built first. A 36,000 sq ft store. Borders come in a couple of years later with a 26,000 sq ft store. BN has added two other stores in the metro area, both in the low 20s.

        Predictably the most likely place to find a title is at the large BN store, then the Borders store, then the smaller almost satellite BN stores.

        Despite the individual store differences both chains are very similar they watch each other and if one is doing something perceived as successful then the other will imitate.

        BN is bigger (more stores), has it's finger in more pies--electronic gaming, college bookstores, publishing (though Borders has it's finger in the international pie), but their cores are still slow growth book business and their efforts are to squeeze ever so little more margin out of it. Tough business.

 
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