Barnes & Noble still existing is ridiculous

even though I still go there. Seems like it would have went under long ago. Barely anyone ever in there. I just buy a small coffee, then look around for things I can get free online. Leech their wifi. Grilled cheese at their Starbucks is 7 dollars, lol.

Now with the covid thing it’s even emptier than ever and they seem to prefer it that way. The employees are all weird introvert types that treat it like their little club. They huddle up with each other for comfort, then if any custmers come around they get all nervous and look away. I think it’s one of the last white people safe spaces. Never see an urban type in there.

the 13% don’t read? I’m shocked!

Lol. I couldn’t find this thread and figured I forgot to submit it. Turns out it’s just that nobody gave a shit about it. Just like Barnes & Noble.

I remember they used to push their member card hard. Now they barely mention it when ringing you up. “You don’t have one of those cards do you?” It’s probably a cherished job amongst millennials. No stress, no labor expectations.

^Traffic’s low because it’s in the wrong forum.

I do most of my real book reading through Audible, but I like going to a brick & mortar once a year or so & buying a big pile of dumb shit it would never occur to me to look up online. Most of the time that’s a tourist trap like Powell’s, Last, or Strand, but I understand one big chain still being around for those who don’t travel.

Hey you’re right lol… how’d that hoppen?

I’d be cool supporting Barnes & Noble’s. I walk like 2 hours a day and they’re on on of my regular routes. It’s a peaceful environment, clean bathrooms. Used to spend a ton of money there when I was younger and dumber. Books, DVDs, CDs, etc. When everything is ridiculously overpriced, they seem like they don’t give a shit, and it’s a hassle forget it.

Sometimes I get coffee down the street at Starbucks and bring it in to B&N. The book kids at B&N who have to work the Starbuck’s counter don’t seem happy about working that area. They just hide out in the back area or wander off back to the book area to hang with their homies. The manager sits down behind the counter so it looks like nobody is there, then some customers that come in get confused and just leave.

I don’t know; I think big box stores running loss leaders through the '80s & '90s, & then online shopping fucked our collective perspective on what constitutes “ridiculously overpriced”. I’m OK paying way more for what I’m looking for out of a local brick & mortar, but it kinda seems like you’re not unaware, & trolling the freeloader angle here, & since it’s just you & me…

Target isn’t the cheapest place to shop, but nothing there is outrageous. I’m sure they had to drop prices on everything to compete with online shopping and Walmart. Yet they pay their employees way more than they used to, maintain a clean, quality environment and usually have adequate to above average service. So yeah, I have a gay red debit card and spend money there all the time. I appreciate them being smart and fair about how they handle things.

Places like B&N that seem like they haven’t tried to adjust at all and don’t care, it’s just weird to me. I think a ton of them closed and the ones that are open are desolate and feel unwelcoming. Just willingly accepting slow death. GNC is like that too. Best Buy, lol.

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So the question I would ask of you is, what do you imagine a reasonable adjustment would look like? A general merchandise/grocer like Target is apples to oranges. The predictability of a bookstore’s inventory:demand is not remotely related. They can’t come close to competing with Amazon on price & availability. What looks good to you? Downsizing to airport news stand scale? A dry cleaner counter with one employee ready to take your order?

I’m just not seeing a viable model for competition. Like I already said, I totally get it & am willing to pay a premium for the kind of stuff I buy local, to maintain the privilege of having a “local” to begin with. For sure that means a lot of vanishing chains & locations in light of the internet, but I’m not following the position of “I like hanging out here to consume other stores’ product” at all.

Barnes & Noble always has their own branded versions of tablets. The black and white readers and the full fledged color android model. Back when I started stopping in there again a while ago I thought, “Hey, I could use another android tablet, since I kind of like this store and it seems like they need customers, I’ll buy their model. It’ll be my special bookstore tablet with all my book files on it. Hang out in the cool coffee shop, reading my cool new Barnes & Noble tablet. Maybe I’ll get a special, smart looking hat?”

I go to the display counter, start checking out the tablet. Girl behind the counter ignores me. I say hello and ask if it’s in stock. She says “Yes” without looking at me and and then continues ignoring me. Then I ask a question about the price, she doesn’t know so she asks the prune face manager walking by. Manager just says “No” without looking at us, that’s their thing I guess, no looking at customers, and keeps walking. I have a strong feeling she’s incorrect, but didn’t care that much to argue, and she left anyways, so I said thanks and went on my way.

So I go to the coffee shop and message the B&N Facebook page and ask the same question, yep, they were wrong, lol. Do I go back with my phone and call them out? No, I just order a better version of the same tablet without all the Barnes & Noble bullshit on it, for cheaper on Amazon. Now I read my pdfs in their coffee shop on my new tablet I bought somewhere else. There it is, my poignant tale of retarded retail employees hurting business. Along with my feelings.

lol. You work for Barnes & Noble. Sorry bro. Or you’re just some oddly hardcore Barnes & Noble fan. Or maybe you work for some other similar struggling retailer selling off brand headphones for 89 dollars. I like the store too, don’t have to support them running it in a half-ass manner. My point is pretty basic. It’s not about being like Target. They are a failing business. They are doing nothing to change that. Not only are they not adjusting, they are actually putting less effort into basic things that are important in their industry and making their own situation worse.

High prices are part of it, but not the main thing I’m talking about. I would gladly pay more money to shop there if it was a positive environment and it seemed like they were trying. I used to do that at Panera before the pandemic because the lead manager ran a good business and had a proper, helpful, friendly team. I barely eat their food, but I’d buy stacks of gift cards to give away to support them because I drink all their coffee and take up a table.

I would be the same way at Barnes & Noble, but like I said, half the time you go in there, nobody is available or wants to help you. I see people walk up to the counter and wait for like 10 minutes before being noticed. So me being in there drinking coffee from another Starbucks and reading on my tablet I bought somewhere else is on them. And guess what, they don’t care. If anything they probably think “That guy’s awesome. He just comes in with his own stuff and never bothers us.”

Paying double for something just so that the customer service business with really expensive stuff and weird employees who don’t like customers can continue to exist makes no sense to me. You can do it though and that’s fine. I can choose not to and that’s also fine. They probably will always exist to some extent. That non-urban niche they fill will always inspire a pretty solid chunk of people to show up and happily open their wallets because there aren’t too many of those raucous brown people around.

I actually did eat a few 7 dollar grilled cheeses there before I figured out the place is ridiculous and doesn’t deserve my money. They do sell SmartFood White Cheddar popcorn though which is my favorite. I’ll buy a bag every now and then in your honor.

Feigns interest in buying a Lego replica of the Eiffel Tower and a Starbucks, then fast walks out once logic sets in.

lol. One of the reasons I like going in there is all the display cases of all the really expensive cool-ass toy shit that I would never buy. It’s like a rich kid toy museum. Never saw Harry Potter, but they had some majestic owl sculpture in a case that looked amazing. As a kid, I’d probably have gotten kicked out of there for staring at the stuff for hours. As a grown man, they are afraid of me, so they don’t say shit.

I don’t think I’ve been there in 20 years, but thanks for tanking what was turning out to be an interesting conversation with Nytron-grade ad hominem. Out.

What does that mean? “You’re a troll! I’m done talking to you.”

lol. This is all just in humor. I beef about things that are stupid. Such is life, nothing to care about that much. You felt the need to defend bad customer service and imply that I’m a freeloader, so I had to elaborate. Ain’t no thang.

No it means I was having an interesting conversation in earnest with you, & you dropped it to shitty insults for no good reason, so why bother?