Amazon stocks just a limited number of bestsellers (the company won't disclose how many) but for the most part obtains books from wholesalers or publishers after receiving an order. B&N, on the other hand, generates such volume in its real-world stores that it has become, effectively, its own giant wholesaler. It deals directly with publishers, cuts out the middlemen, and stocks its central warehouse in New Jersey with 400,000 frequently ordered titles. Consequently, observes Craig Bibb, a Paine Webber analyst,"Barnes & Noble crushes Amazon in speedy delivery."
Barnes & Noble can also afford to give readers books at bargain prices. Since it sells more books than anyone else, it gets the best prices from publishers. Barnes & Noble launched its site with 30% discounts on all hardcovers. Amazon was forced to match the cuts. And the pricing wars have just begun. ****************** Long term, we win. We have deeper pockets, better prices, and higher margins on the books we do sell (if online store if separated from the hard stores). - Boringtechy