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Re: Price tags

May 24, 1997 10:39 AM
by Bart Lidofsky

M K Ramadoss wrote:
>   At least in my city, the Barnes & Noble and Book Stop stores are located
> very conveniently around the city and especially the latter always discount
> every book they carry or they can special order (at no extra cost).
> Convenience and cost are two key factors in the success of these stores and
> I believe they are here to stay. Recently Barnes & Noble has gone on line
> and everyone else has to meet the competition or else go broke. There is no
> choice. So if rest of the book stores are unable to come up with a workable
> strategy, then may be it is in the Divine Plan that the should go.

	Small stores cannot compete on price, they cannot compete on hours
open, and they cannot compete on convenience. But that does NOT mean
that they cannot compete. Far too many stores do not realize this,
however. Also, there is the factor that, when given the choice of
evolving or dying, far too many choose to die, blaming it on the more
successful species, than try to evolve, where if they fail, it is their
own fault.

	In the case of the Quest Bookshop in New York, the problem is that,
although we are growing, the expenses of the Lodge are growing faster.
We have maintained strong sales without discount plans through various
means. One of the keys is a knowledgeable staff. If you know which book
you are looking for, you can go to B&N and get a good price. But if you
don't know which book you're looking for, the staff at B&N are not going
to be much help; the staff of the Quest, on the other hand, will be a
great help. Also, Barnes & Noble's does not carry books by small presses
or not carried by the big distributors. Quest combs the small
publishers, and finds a number of gems not available anywhere else (for
example, we recently scored a number of copies of Dion Fortune's THE
COSMIC DOCTRINE, not normally available in the United States). A lot of
professional astrologers shop at the Quest, so we make sure that our
selection of astrology books are second to none; the result is that when
their clients are interested in learning astrology, we are the ones who
get the business. We used very limited but highly targeted advertising
to get customers in, as well.

	Bart Lidofsky

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