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Category: Money

As eBook Sales Increase, Giant Bookstore Chain Innovates

Written on August 12, 2010 by Rudfer Tyron

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The Library of Congress may soon be outgrown by digital libraries, and browsing the displays on a bookstore's shelves may no longer make sense to readers one day.

By far, that has not happened. And it could be a wild prediction on our side. But the shootup on e-Book sales for the first five months this year is making some noise. From last year’s 2.9% (within the same period), the relatively cheaper e-Books have rendered the trade sales up to 8.5%. And while are enjoying the growth spurt, bookstore chains are tackling shrinking profits and store traffic volume.

The arrival of the Amazon Kindle and the Apple iPad has forcibly thrown a competition against and bookstore chains such as Barnes and Nobles, the largest and most powerful in the country. Online books have revolutionized not only the reading experience but also the shopping behavior of people.

Some are concerned that the closing down of records stores at the dawn of digital music could also be the way for physical bookstores to go. Literary agent Laurence J. Kirshbaum said, “The shift from the physical to the digital book can pick up some of the economic slack, but it can’t pick up the loss that is created when you don’t have the customers browsing the displays. We need people going into stores and seeing a book they didn’t know existed and buying it.”

That is why the executives of Barnes & Noble devised an innovation. It has come up with its own e-reader, the Nook, and revamping its stores at the same time to rebuild more traffic, putting up educational toys and games alongside.

Meantime, the giant bookstore chain has had to keep up with rival online bookstore Amazon.com. But CEO William Lynch is confident of their plan: “We think we’ve got the right strategy. The growth in our e-books business is about nine months ahead of our plan.”

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