posted on Apr, 11 2013 @ 04:42 PM
We want to go somewhere...that's why we go to stores. Internet shopping has affected in-store shopping, but it will be some time before the latter is
completely displaced by the former. Five years is not enough time for that to happen, maybe five generations...I see myself as being the first
generation of this transition, or the last of the "store" only mentality...hard to say, because its not clean cut.
My reason for bringing this up is specifically Barnes and noble. Borders is gone and walden, if I'm not mistaken, is owned by B&N. I can't see "the
bookstore", as a concept, being gone in 5 years' time. B&N is the 'only' bookstore left in the homogenization process we are currently living
through (monopolies/conglomeration of retail eventually leading to a semi-socialist/semi-capitalist...I.e., fascist...system).
Walmart has worked hard in its "join us or die" business model, whereby it consumes competition or wipes it off the map with volume and/or buying
power. All businesses of any corporate merit are following this model. Starbucks has gone so far as to saturate its local markets, eventually
canibalizing it's own small franchisees in the name of killing all other competition. I can think of few non-Starbucks coffee franchises, and most
are regional, with no where near the brand recognition as Starbucks.
Walmart is in a similar boat. Kmart and Target are the only two I can think of, and Kmart is on it's way out....has been hooked up to the respirator
for a while now. Walmart and Target seem to be in a stale mate, with only brand-class identification differentiating them in their duopoly...I'd say
they end up merging and becoming two sides of the same coin (more so than they already are as competitors).
Back to Barnes & Noble: They seem to be the first company to totally become the Brand of the Market", so to speak. The linguist in me wouldn't be
surprised if their brand name hasn't begun to exist in free variation with, if not utterly supplant, the word "bookstore" in the English of young
Americans, much the same as Coke accomplished in the South, or Kleenex even.
When Staples goes, Office Depot will be the B&N of stationary and office supplies. When RadioShack goes, Bestbuy and CompUSA will narrow their markets
and one will come out victorious in the long run (hasn't circuit city been gone for a while now?). HomeDepot and Lowes seem to have the same duopoly
system that Walmart and Target have created - where each fulfills more of an identity in the consumer than any other palpable product distinction.