Yellow Pages |   News Updates |   Local Jobs |   Events Calendar |   Movie Times | Recycling
Rocklin and Roseville Today Local Events
contact add event advertise 

Of Henny Penny and Bookstores: Barnes & Noble CEO Responds



In response to a recent opinion piece posted on Rocklin & Roseville Today titled "Barnes & Noble: Gone By New Year's?", Barnes & Noble Chief Executive Officer, Michael P. Huseby, contacted our office to respond. Here is his complete, unedited response.


If you're in business - no matter what business - you know that having to listen to the odd Henny Penny is an occupational hazard. 

You remember Henny Penny, the children's storybook character who felt an acorn drop on its head and believed the sky was falling. The folk tale has become the seminal example of a hysterical, uninformed and mistaken belief that disaster is imminent.     

Recently, some Henny Pennys have begun clucking about the future of bookstores.  The rise of digital content, online selling and broader retail distribution, they say, will kill bookstores.  Why, they ask, will people go to a bookstore when they can buy books online or at department stores? 

Feeding the hysteria are the bankruptcy two years ago of Borders, the national bookstore chain, and recent speculation that Barnes & Noble will accelerate its bookstore closings in coming years.  Some have even suggested the demise of B&N is so imminent that gift cards should be used immediately upon receiving them because the company's financial foundations are shaky. 

To paraphrase one of our nation's great writers, Mark Twain, the reports of bookstores' death have been greatly exaggerated.  Here are the facts:

Barnes & Noble has not adjusted its plan for store closings.  Historically, we have closed about 15 stores a year for the past 10 years. Of that number, some of the stores were closed because they were unprofitable, while others were relocations to better properties.  Barnes & Noble has great real estate in prime locations and the company's new management team is fully committed to the retail concept for the long term.
Why are we so committed? There are several reasons, all focused on delighting our customers.  No other retailer can match the selection of books available at every Barnes & Noble location, supported by award-winning customer service.  Just look at the success of last holiday season to see if we are getting it right. 

Our financial foundation is solid, and we have a strong balance sheet.

Barnes & Noble ended the most recent quarter with $490 million in cash, $276 million higher than the prior year, with no draw on its $1 billion credit facility.

As for the threat of the digital revolution, Barnes & Noble has one of the industry's leading E-commerce sites in BN.com, as well as world-class fulfillment centers. In fact, Barnes & Noble can offer something online-only competitors cannot -- a unique in-store experience that allows our customers to interact with knowledgeable booksellers who provide exceptional customer service.

We also have one of the best e-readers on the market - the NOOK.  Given the competitive landscape, we are extremely proud of all we have accomplished with the NOOK business.  In fact, while we may not be a consumer electronics retailer, we have sold more than 10 million NOOK devices because we offer a great reading experience, unmatched content, and we have an army of booksellers supporting them. 

Behind these offerings are our strong partnerships with industry leaders like Microsoft and Pearson.  They say you can judge someone by the company they keep - and we keep some pretty good company.

Moreover, we have strong relationships with our publishing partners and our prices are competitive with any other outlet selling books.  Plus our stores offer a broad range and deep selection of books, including not only bestsellers but also the backlist.  The upshot: Publishers want to work with Barnes & Noble because we understand and support the business.

Here's the kicker that no Henny Penny wants to hear.  People are actually coming back to bookstores more often than they have in years.  Improving bookstores sales trends during fiscal 2014 indicate that customers are reigniting their love affair with physical books.  This trend supports industry reports that suggest eBook growth has moderated and was essentially flat in 2013.

As this trend continues, we believe we are well positioned to delight our customers on whatever platform they choose to connect with us -- in our stores and online, and digitally on our NOOK platform.  And we back it up with more than 40,000 knowledgeable booksellers across the country ready to recommend every customer's next great read.

We have openly acknowledged the challenges within our business and the industry and are adapting to the changing business.  But, the next time Henny Pennys suggest that the sky is falling on bookstores, don't take their word for it.  Step into your local Barnes & Noble store and enjoy the extraordinary experience that delights millions of our customers every day and has made us one of the most beloved brands in the country. 


Barnes & Noble
1256 Galleria Blvd
Roseville, CA 95678
(916) 788-4320
www.barnesandnoble.com/







Placer County News Headlines

Attempted Murder Arrest in RocklinJoseph Thomas Spera, 22, from Auburn was arrested by Rocklin Police for attempted murder of victim by stabbing.

Pediatric Telemedicine Consults Deliver Cost SavingsResearchers at UC Davis have conducted a comprehensive study to determine whether pediatric telemedicine consultations with rural emergency departments

50 Days of the Grateful Dead: Sugar MagnoliaIn a nod to the recent Dear Jerry Celebration held at the Merriweather Post Pavilion and an online request, we step back in time 32 years to June 1983.

Memorial Day Weekend : All Aboard as Railroad Season BeginsWhen the whistle blows Memorial Day weekend it will be full steam ahead this summer aboard the historic Virginia & Truckee Railroad

American River Project: Water Transfer ApprovedDrought Watch: At the May 21 meeting of the Placer County Water Agency (PCWA) Board of Directors, the Board approved a resolution authorizing the release of 12,000 acre-feet

Granite Bay Cuts Water Use 32 PercentDrought Watch: Customers in San Juan Water District's retail service area reduced their water use by 32 percent in April compared to 2013.

When 20 Billion Gallons of Water Savings is Not EnoughDrought Watch: Even though customers from 19 Sacramento-area water agencies have saved more than 20 billion gallons

$900,000 Window Project: Placer County Courthouse AuburnWork is under way on a construction project that will restore and repair aging windows at Placer County's Historic Courthouse in Auburn.

Squaw Valley High Profile Development ProposedA proposed high-profile project is in the works that would transform 94 acres in Squaw Valley into a development offering numerous resort residential options and amenities

Auburn Library Opens with Flooring Project CompletionThe Auburn branch of the Placer County Library has been closed since May 1

Kaiser Permanente Roseville Honors Fallen for Memorial DayKaiser Permanente Roseville Medical Center held a special ceremony yesterday honoring the memories of all who have died on behalf of our country

Raley's and iFoster Launch Foster Youth Hiring Program iFoster has partnered with Raley's Family of Fine Stores to develop a new hiring program for foster youth.


NEWS: In Case You Missed It