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    SWOT Analysis of Barnes and Nobel

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    Using your readings, the Library, and the Internet, write responses to each of the following:

    1. What is your impression of the operation of Barnes and Noble?

    2. Conduct a SWOT Analysis of Barnes and Nobel.

    3. Does Barnes and Noble have a competitive advantage and/or a competitive strategy? Justify your answer.

    4. Choose one Barnes and Noble product. Describe the components of this product value chain.

    5. What strategic alternatives are open to Barnes and Noble? Explain and justify your answer.

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    About Barnes and Noble

    Barnes & Noble, Inc. (Barnes & Noble) is primarily engaged in the sale of books. The company's principal business is the sale of books, magazines, music and movies direct to customers (Moneycentral).

    As per Wikipedia Barnes & Noble, Inc. is the largest book retailer in the United States, operating mainly through its Barnes & Noble Booksellers chain of bookstores headquartered in lower Fifth Avenue in Manhattan. The company operates the smaller bookstore chains, such as Bookstop, Bookstar and B. Dalton Booksellers, found in outdoor strip malls and shopping malls. The company is known for large, upscale retail outlets, many of which contain a café serving Starbucks Coffee, and for competitive discounting of bestsellers. As per website the Barnes & Noble has following achievements:

    * Barnes & Noble is the nation's top bookseller brand for the fifth year in a row according to the EquiTrend® Brand Study by Harris Interactive®.
    * Barnes & Noble is the leader in the specialty retail category for customer satisfaction according to the 2007 American Customer Satisfaction Index.
    * Barnes & Noble is the second-largest coffeehouse in the United States.
    * Between our stores and our online operations, Barnes & Noble sells just over 300 million books per year.
    * Barnes & Noble takes more than 8 million customer orders a year and fulfills approximately 4,000 customer service requests every day.
    * Bestsellers account for only 3% of our sales, and more than 50,000 small publishers and university presses are a growing percentage of our business. We are committed to carrying a vast selection of titles from many publishers, large and small.

    Its worldwide operations are successful because of its strong financials and high brand equity.

    SWOT Analysis

    SWOT Analysis is a powerful technique for understanding your Strengths and weaknesses, and for looking at the Opportunities and Threats you face. Specifically, SWOT Analysis is a simple but powerful framework for analyzing your company's Strengths and Weakness, and the Opportunities and Threats you face. This helps you to focus on your strengths, minimize threats, and take the greatest possible advantage of opportunities available to you.
    Analysis of External Environment

    Socio & Economic Factors

    One has monitor the economic trends like GDP trends, Interest rates, Money supply, Inflation rates, Unemployment levels, Disposable income. It has to identify the growing target segment and introducing new products and services to meet their needs. They have to provide convenience, quality, speed and top notch products and services to attract new customers and to retain the loyal existing customers as well. In today's modern and fast-paced world, people are constantly looking for ways to help them better manage their time. People strive to make their life better, and this home based shopping has the potential to fulfill all of these needs. Thus there is opportunity in targeting busy individuals who don't have the means, energy or time to visit the physical malls globally.

    - Technological Forces

    Technology is continuously changing and improving. Barnes and Noble had embraced the latest technologies, but now it has to do it more to provide superior services at less cost. It has to handle the issues of privacy, security effectively.

    - Political Legal Regulations

    As an organization it should also be aware of economic, tax and business laws.


    There is a lot of opportunity for the alliances with the manufacturers, retailers, suppliers and other websites.


    Industry Analysis

    The retail industry including books have become a fierce business which involves discounts, varied selections and fast delivery in which all the companies are challenging each other.


    The consumers of this industry can be found in every corner of the globe. The online shoppers have increased dramatically in recent years due to the convenience of shopping in the comforts of the home and the accessibility of the Internet. These developments have made it easier for consumers to log on and buy on the Internet. Consumers also tend to compare prices among the retail leaders such that buyers are able to buy products with very big discounts compared to ones bought in "actual" retail outlets. The bargaining power of the consumer is based on the competitive strategies of each active firm in the industry. Thus, consumers can challenge one firm for charging more than the other one such that the firm will beat the price of the competing firm.


    Suppliers range from the publishing and media houses.


    The substitutes for it and other bookstores are the "actual" book retailers and online stores such as amazon.com and other small mom-and-pop outlets. With the rise of online retail, the competition has increased considerably. One impact would be some consumers who would like to hold or listen to their purchases prior to buying and those who are into the whole "shopping experience". Barnes and Nobles have jumped into online retail and have succeeded into diversifying into the new e-commerce industry.

    Degree of Competition

    The competition is intense and the major competitor is amazon.com. Due to the shift of focus for Amazon, it has become the "Earth's biggest anything store". The other competitors have expanded from just online book retailers like Amazon, Borders to top audio ...

    Solution Summary

    A SWOT analysis of Barnes and Nobles is determined in the solution. The competitive advantage and strategy is given.