blue ocean strategy

Barnes & Noble's Strategic Move

Barnes & Noble and Borders superstores in the U.S. redefined the scope of the services they offer. Instead of focusing solely on the moment a customer purchases a book – as the hundreds of bookstores were doing – they asked, what do customers do before, during, and after purchasing a book? They found that often before purchasing books, buyers want to sit and browse through several selections before making a choice, yet traditional bookstores did not offer a place to do so – in fact they discouraged the practice. Then they observed that often after purchasing books or magazines, customers went to a coffee shop to spend some time alone reading.  With these insights they transformed the product they sell from the book itself into the pleasure of reading and intellectual exploration, adding lounges, knowledgeable staff, and coffee bars to create an environment that celebrates reading and learning. In less than six years, B&N and Borders emerged as the two largest bookstore chains in the United States, with more than one thousand three hundred superstores between them.

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