New retail outlets for book publishers – apparel, hardware stores

A New York Times article (February 28, 2011) describes book publishers use of apparel retailers (Marc Jacobs, Kitson, Urban Outfitters), hardware stores (Lowe’s Pro Bass Shops) as outlets for book sales.  The decline of Borders, and the increased focus on e-books by Barnes and Noble means that publishers need a channel that can showcase their entire line of books that require a “browse and purchase” model.  In addition, unlike bookstores, sales to these new retail channels come with a no return policy, thus improving revenues for the publisher.  But such approaches require a careful matching of book titles to specific customers segment interests.  Will splitting of titles and matching to specific outlets increase sales and decrease logistics costs ? Does the spillover of interest, for example,  in home remodeling by browsing books on remodeling,suggest that hardware retailers may benefit from bundling sales of the books with associated hardware purchases ? Is the relief from the e-channel cannibalization of physical books temporary or is this channel a more natural candidate for physcial books ?

About aviyer2010

Professor
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