Barnes and Noble is a Fortune 500 company that is one of the few sole nationwide

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Background

is a Fortune 500 company that is one of the few sole nationwide “brick and mortar” booksellers to still be in business after years of its competitors going out of business. They operate in all 50 States with 627+ retail outlets.

As you might expect, Barnes and Noble faces massive competitive pressure from online competitors like Amazon and must discover new ways to identify and satisfy their customers’ needs. Indeed, Amazon continuously implements innovative approaches to deliver both print and electronic content to its customers, including products like the Amazon Kindle.

Barnes and Noble sales and profits have been somewhat stagnant over the past several years and declined last year in an otherwise robust economy. Therefore, it is no surprise that it appears there is a transition of ownership to a hedge fund, which will do its best to “turn-around” the struggling bookseller. Please read this article which provides details on financial performance and ownership of Barnes and Noble:

Conduct as much additional research as you need on Barnes and Noble to fully understand the company and competitive environment before moving on to the case instructions.

Case Instructions

You will write this paper as if you (or your team) is a marketing consultant that’s been brought in to help improve sales.

You have decided that Barnes and Noble’s TV and Video DVD section is a “Dog” according to the and are committed to convincing Barnes and Noble Management to invest in what you believe are promising Question Marks.

This may help you relate to the problem you are trying to address – please watch the following video of what this part of their store looks like. This video was taken when the rest of the store was quite busy, and there were long lines!

Each student, whether part of a team or working on their own, should come up with a recommendation and make a case for an entirely new product line to take the place of the TV and Movie DVD section of the Barnes and Noble store.

It is expected that whatever product line and/or service you choose, you will support it with at least 1-2 citations to support your pitch. You need to make the argument for an entirely new set of products or new service that you believe will transform this part of their stores.

Above all, feel free to be creative and consultative in your approach to writing this paper.

If you are having trouble getting started with the paper, watch the video again. Think back to the BCG Growth-Share Matrix. You are making a case for a Question Mark – a new business to replace a dying one! Now all you have to do is identify a new series of products that you think Barnes and Noble should sell in place of the TV and Movie DVDs at their 627+ stores.

I have no problem sharing with you one idea I had to help you get started. I had thought about Barnes and Noble having a part of the store that was “members only” with an annual subscription where members could take items home with them and return – much like a library but with the very latest in literary options. Innovating on pricing for the new product line or brand extension may help come up with a good recommendation for Barnes and Noble.Yes, you can use this idea if you so wish but the implementation and justification will need to be very well supported.

You may have ideas on another product line altogether or something a bit more on the experiential side. As long as you support your ideas and write in a professional business manner, you are on the right path.

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