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Old 04-12-19, 07:32 AM
livedarklions's Avatar
Join Date: Jun 2018
Location: New England
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Bikes: Trek FX 3; 1994 Specialized Allez Pro; Motobecane Fantom CX; Giant OCR A1

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Originally Posted by tclune View Post
Yes. At least in the Northeastern US, small independent book stores are coming back to life. My sense is that, with the bricks and mortar presence of Borders and the like in decline, a viable niche has emerged for the independents to provide a community center for book lovers. Amazon may still get the volume business (no pun intended) and be the seller of first resort for hard-to-find books, but there is a real need for a gathering place of like-minded souls that can best be filled by a RL presence.

I'm in NH. I have seen none of that comeback--just some independents that have clung on. But I agree that the ones that have have done so by emphasizing the social aspects. A lot of them really feel like they're coffeehouses that sell a few books. In any event, their numbers are tiny compared to what they were a couple decades ago, and the numbers of books on their shelves absolutely minuscule compared to the pre-Amazon era .

The LBS I've seen doing well in the past decade and a half have done so by emphasizing service, personalized bike sales, and/or social aspects. Their websites are geared towards getting people into the stores, not buying stuff online for quick pickup or delivery.

Anyway, the strategy to dealing with online retailers seems to be the same--don't focus on trying to compete directly with them because you can't win that fight without massive investment and transformation of the business. Focus on the advantages a local personal presence can offer.
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