🗒️That Cool New Bookstore? It’s a Barnes & Noble.


华尔街日报|2021-7-29|最后更新: 2023-7-29|
That Cool New Bookstore? It’s a Barnes & Noble.那家很酷的新书店?这是Barnes & Noble。 America’s biggest bookstore chain is being reinvented. To understand the strategy for its 596 stores, look at the most famous one.美国最大的连锁书店正在重塑。要了解其596家商店的策略,请查看最著名的一家。
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Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt sees the overhauled Upper West Side location as a model for other stores. ‘If we can do it here,’ he says. ‘we can do it anywhere.’Barnes & Noble首席执行官詹姆斯·当特(James Daunt)将大修后的上西区(Upper West Side)视为其他商店的典范。“如果我们能在这里做到,”他说。“我们可以在任何地方做。”
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| Photographs by Christopher Gregory-Rivera for The Wall Street Journal
|摄影:Christopher Gregory-Rivera为《华尔街日报》拍摄
NEW YORK—Barnes & Noble was once the enemy of independent bookstores. Now it’s trying to be more like them. And no place better explains the improbable reinvention of the biggest American bookstore chain than the Barnes & Noble on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. 纽约——巴诺书店(Barnes & Noble)曾经是独立书店的敌人。现在它试图变得更像他们。没有哪个地方比曼哈顿上西区的巴诺书店(Barnes & Noble)更能解释美国最大的连锁书店的不可能重塑。
That shop in one of the world’s greatest book markets has been a battleground since the day it opened three decades ago. It might be the most iconic of the chain’s 596 locations: It’s the store that helped inspire the mega-store run by Tom Hanks’s character in the classic romantic comedy “You’ve Got Mail.” 这家位于世界上最大的图书市场之一的书店自三十年前开业以来一直是战场。它可能是该连锁店596家分店中最具标志性的一家:正是这家商店帮助激发了汤姆·汉克斯(Tom Hanks)在经典浪漫喜剧《你有邮件》(You've Got Mail)中的角色经营的大型商店。
It also has been the site of a grand experiment for much of the past year. The chain invested millions of dollars to rebuild this Barnes & Noble into a model for its other stores to emulate as the company transforms into a bookseller for the modern age. 在过去一年的大部分时间里,它也是一个宏伟实验的地点。该连锁店投资数百万美元将这家Barnes & Noble重建为其他商店效仿的典范,因为该公司正在转变为现代书商。
“You don’t want to go too crazy in a Barnes & Noble because one of the joys of this store is that everybody comes in here,” said James Daunt, the chief executive since the company was taken private in 2019. “But do I think this can be a really interesting bookstore that is much, much more interesting than it currently is? Oh my goodness, yes.” “你不想在巴诺书店里太疯狂,因为这家商店的乐趣之一是每个人都来这里,”自该公司于2019年私有化以来担任首席执行官的詹姆斯·当特(James Daunt)说。“但我认为这是一家非常有趣的书店,比现在有趣得多吗?哦,天哪,是的。
He would know. Daunt was a respected independent bookseller in London before he found himself running chains in both the U.K. and U.S. He was exactly the sort of person who could make Barnes & Noble interesting. 他会知道的。Daunt在伦敦是一位受人尊敬的独立书商,之后他发现自己在英国和美国都经营连锁书店。他正是那种能让巴诺书店变得有趣的人。
His plan to save the company and its bookstores is to combine the power of a big chain with the pleasure of a beloved indie. By shifting control of the process to individual store managers across the country, Daunt is giving local booksellers permission to do things they were never able to do before. They have discretion over purchasing, placement and even pricing. He wants Barnes & Noble locations to feel welcoming but not overwhelming—a chain store should be more inviting and less intimidating than a truly independent shop—and that means he needs the people who run them to make sensible decisions for their markets. “It’s only inexcusable if it’s not interesting,” he said. 他拯救公司及其书店的计划是将大型连锁店的力量与心爱的独立书店的乐趣结合起来。通过将流程的控制权转移给全国各地的个别商店经理,Daunt允许当地书商做他们以前从未做过的事情。他们对购买、放置甚至定价都有自由裁量权。他希望Barnes & Noble的分店让人感到宾至如归,但又不让人不知所措——连锁店应该比真正的独立店更具吸引力,更少令人生畏——这意味着他需要经营这些店的人为他们的市场做出明智的决定。“只有当它不有趣时,这才是不可原谅的,”他说。
Cash registers and magazines have been moved away from the front of the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble to make way for more books.收银机和杂志已经从上西区巴诺书店(Barnes & Noble)的前面移开,为更多的书籍让路。
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The Barnes & Noble on the Upper West Side was incoherent the first time he showed me around last winter. It was cold and dreary outside and felt that way inside, where he was trying to make sense of an odd assortment of books. Viola Davis’s memoir was next to Franz Kafka’s diaries. Judd Apatow’s comedy interviews sat near a spiritual biography of George H.W. Bush. John le Carré was inches from Geena Davis. 上西区的巴诺书店(Barnes & Noble)去年冬天第一次带我参观时语无伦次。外面又冷又沉闷,里面也有这种感觉,他试图理解各种各样的书。维奥拉·戴维斯的回忆录就在弗朗茨·卡夫卡的日记旁边。贾德·阿帕托(Judd Apatow)的喜剧采访与乔治·H·W·布什(George H.W. Bush)的精神传记相近。约翰·勒卡雷距离吉娜·戴维斯只有几英寸。
I thought Daunt might pull the books off the shelf and rearrange them himself, but the whole point of his approach is that the CEO shouldn’t be the one making those calls. A bookstore exists to serve readers—not publishers, not investors and definitely not the bloke running Barnes & Noble. 我以为当特可能会把书从书架上拿出来,自己重新整理,但他方法的全部意义在于,CEO不应该是做出这些决定的人。书店的存在是为了服务读者——不是出版商,不是投资者,更不是经营巴诺书店的那个家伙。
Barnes & Noble used scale and uniformity to its benefit in the 1990s and 2000s, but those advantages have since become liabilities. Bookstores don’t have to be the same from one to another. They shouldn’t be, either. The best managers know the books they sell and the customers who buy them—and what works on the Upper West Side might not work in West Des Moines. 巴诺书店在1990年代和2000年代利用规模和统一性使其受益,但这些优势后来成为负债。书店不必彼此相同。他们也不应该是。最好的经理人知道他们卖的书和购买它们的顾客——在上西区行之有效的方法在西得梅因可能行不通。
U.S. bookstore salesSource: U.S. Census Bureau via St. Louis Fed
The idea behind the new Barnes & Noble is to make the national chain more like a collection of 596 local indies. The famous one in my neighborhood used to symbolize the company’s past. Now it offers a peek at its future. “If we can do it here,” Daunt said, “we can do it anywhere.” 新巴诺书店背后的想法是让全国连锁店更像是596个当地独立游戏的集合。我家附近著名的那个曾经象征着公司的过去。现在,它提供了对未来一瞥的窥视。“如果我们能在这里做到,”当特说,“我们可以在任何地方做。
Daunt agreed to give me before-and-after tours of the Upper West Side turnaround project, so we met in January and made plans to return when the shop was ready. By the time we met again in June, the vision he described had come to life.Daunt同意让我参观上西区周转项目的前后,所以我们在一月份见面,并计划在商店准备好后返回。当我们在六月再次见面时,他所描述的异象已经实现了。
The major renovation was necessary because the mission of bookstores has changed since this one opened in 1993. Back then, someone who wanted a specific book would visit their favorite brick-and-mortar store. Now anyone in need of that book probably visits Amazon. 重大翻新是必要的,因为自1993年开设以来,书店的使命发生了变化。那时,想要一本特定书籍的人会去他们最喜欢的实体店。现在,任何需要这本书的人都可能会访问亚马逊。
This profound shift in consumer behavior prompted Barnes & Noble to reconsider the very purpose of a Barnes & Noble. 消费者行为的这种深刻转变促使Barnes & Noble重新考虑Barnes & Noble的目的。
A physical bookstore competing against a $1.4 trillion online everything store must give people the stuff they know they want and the stuff they didn’t know they wanted. 一家实体书店与价值1.4万亿美元的在线商店竞争,必须为人们提供他们知道他们想要的东西和他们不知道他们想要的东西。
“We’re here to help people browse,” Daunt said. “我们在这里帮助人们浏览,”当特说。
But first the Upper West Side location had to be a place where people wanted to spend time browsing. The bleak floor tiles were ripped out for sleek light wood. The drab carpet in that dumpy forest green was replaced with something less ’90s. The repainted walls were warmed up with splashes of pink. The space was designed to be cozier and brighter—and to keep you wandering around. 但首先,上西区的位置必须是人们想要花时间浏览的地方。凄凉的地砖被扯掉,换成光滑的轻木。那片邋遢的森林绿色中单调的地毯被不那么90年代的东西所取代。重新粉刷的墙壁被粉红色的飞溅所温暖。这个空间的设计更舒适、更明亮,让您四处闲逛。
The most important change is apparent from the moment you step inside. The cash registers in the front of the store were shoved to the back. The magazines inexplicably occupying prime real estate on the ground floor were stuffed upstairs next to the relocated cafe. They had to be moved to make space for more books. 最重要的变化从你踏入的那一刻起就很明显。商店前面的收银机被推到了后面。莫名其妙地占据一楼黄金地段的杂志被塞在楼上搬迁的咖啡馆旁边。他们必须被移动,以便为更多的书腾出空间。
A lot more books. 更多的书。
Daunt has his own ideas about how books should be displayed, but he wants local managers to have ultimate authority. ‘It’s only inexcusable if it’s not interesting,’ he says.当特对书籍应该如何展示有自己的想法,但他希望当地管理者拥有最终的权力。“只有当它不有趣时,这是不可原谅的,”他说。
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You’ve got a new bookstore你有一家新书店

James Daunt already had a job when he became the CEO of Barnes & Noble. In fact, he had two. 詹姆斯·当特(James Daunt)成为Barnes & Noble的首席执行官时已经有了一份工作。事实上,他有两个。
He got his start in the business in 1990, when he founded Daunt Books, a London indie known for its impeccable taste. His sublime boutique eventually became a group of nine shops across England that he still oversees. Then he surprised the industry by taking the top job at Waterstones, the Barnes & Noble of the U.K. After inheriting a troubled chain with roughly 300 stores in 2011, he nursed a company bleeding money back to profitability. Waterstones was bought in 2018 by the activist hedge fund Elliott Management, which kept Daunt in charge and took aim at Barnes & Noble itself. 他于1990年开始涉足这项业务,当时他创立了Daunt Books,这是一家以其无可挑剔的品味而闻名的伦敦独立公司。他崇高的精品店最终变成了他仍然监督的英格兰九家商店。然后,他在英国巴诺书店(Barnes & Noble)担任了最高职位,令业界大吃一惊。在2011年继承了一家拥有约300家门店的陷入困境的连锁店后,他帮助一家公司将资金重新转化为盈利。Waterstones于2018年被激进对冲基金Elliott Management收购,该基金让Daunt负责并瞄准Barnes&Noble本身。
The poorly managed chain was ripe for a takeover after cycling through CEOs and losing half of its annual revenue even after its rival Borders failed. Elliott paid $475 million in the deal and tapped Daunt to lead another unlikely comeback. 这家管理不善的连锁店在首席执行官们之间循环后,即使在其竞争对手Borders失败后也失去了一半的年收入,因此收购的时机已经成熟。埃利奥特在这笔交易中支付了4.75亿美元,并利用当特领导另一次不太可能的复出。
Daunt, 59, speaks quietly, as if he were in a library, but the insight at the heart of his management philosophy is worth screaming from the rooftops: find people who are passionate about books and let them sell books as they see fit. This sounds rather obvious when he says it. But entrusting a chain to someone who not long ago was running a posh store in Central London was a radical act of corporate desperation. 59岁的当特说话很平静,就像他在图书馆里一样,但他管理哲学的核心洞察力值得在屋顶上尖叫:找到对书籍充满热情的人,让他们按照自己认为合适的方式出售书籍。当他说这句话时,这听起来很明显。但是,将连锁店委托给不久前还在伦敦市中心经营一家豪华商店的人,是企业绝望的激进行为。
“I think it had to almost die before anyone was prepared to risk that,” Daunt said as we strolled around the Barnes & Noble on the Upper West Side. “It’s no coincidence that I took over Waterstones when it died and I took over this place when it was barely breathing.” “我认为在任何人准备冒险之前,它几乎必须死去,”当我们在上西区的Barnes&Noble漫步时,Daunt说道。“水石死后我接手了它,在它几乎没有呼吸的时候,我接手了这个地方,这绝非巧合。”
One way to measure the health of a bookstore is the return rate—the percentage of unsold books that retailers ship back to publishers. The lower, the better.衡量书店健康状况的一种方法是退货率,即零售商将未售出的图书运回出版商的百分比。越低越好。
Waterstones and Barnes & Noble both had return rates between 20% and 25% when he started. It’s down to 3.5% at Waterstones. Barnes & Noble’s is 9%, Daunt said. His target is 5%. Waterstones和Barnes & Noble在他刚开始的时候都有20%到25%的回报率。水石的这一比例降至3.5%。Barnes&Noble's是9%,Daunt说。他的目标是5%。
At the remodeled Barnes & Noble, rows of books became rooms of books.在改建后的Barnes & Noble,一排排的书变成了书的房间。
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Display tables are organized in clever ways that transcend algorithmic recommendations.显示表以超越算法建议的巧妙方式进行组织。
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Not everyone is thrilled about his plans to make Barnes & Noble a more efficient business, which publishers fear will translate into the nation’s largest chain purchasing fewer books. The managers of individual stores having more control over what they stock and how they price it means the publishers have less. Others in publishing are skeptical that local tastes matter as much in a business increasingly driven by national bestsellers. 并不是每个人都对他让巴诺书店成为更高效的企业的计划感到兴奋,出版商担心这将转化为美国最大的连锁店,购买更少的书籍。个别商店的经理可以更好地控制他们的库存和定价方式,这意味着出版商拥有的更少。出版业的其他人则怀疑,在一个日益由全国畅销书驱动的行业中,本地品味是否同样重要。
Daunt was hired by Barnes & Noble right before U.S. bookstore sales bottomed out. They declined every year from 2008 to 2019 and cratered in 2020, according to federal data. But retailers have proven surprisingly resilient since the first year of the pandemic. Sales rebounded in 2021. They continued upward in 2022. They’re on pace to increase again in 2023. Daunt在美国书店销售触底之前被Barnes & Noble聘用。根据联邦数据,从 2008 年到 2019 年,它们每年都在下降,并在 2020 年陨石坑。但事实证明,自大流行的第一年以来,零售商具有令人惊讶的弹性。2021年销售额反弹。它们在 2022 年继续上升。它们有望在 2023 年再次增加。
As a privately held company, Barnes & Noble doesn’t report financial results, but it’s clear that it’s no longer near death. While the number of locations has decreased 5% since the acquisition, the chain is now expanding and plans to open 45 stores this year, including some that closed and reopened with smaller footprints, like one on the Upper East Side that opened this month to a line around the block. It’s also giving facelifts to existing shops across the country. But not every store needs a complete makeover to feel refreshed. I recently popped into a Barnes & Noble off the interstate in Pueblo, Colo., where even subtle tweaks made for a delightful browsing experience. 作为一家私人控股公司,巴诺书店没有报告财务业绩,但很明显,它不再濒临死亡。虽然自收购以来,门店数量减少了5%,但该连锁店目前正在扩张,并计划今年开设45家门店,其中包括一些关闭并重新开业的门店,足迹较小,例如上东区的一家门店本月开业。它还对全国各地的现有商店进行了整容。但并非每家商店都需要彻底改造才能感到神清气爽。我最近在科罗拉多州普韦布洛的州际公路上开了一家Barnes & Noble,即使是细微的调整也能带来愉快的浏览体验。
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Waterstones 水石
Locations in central London伦敦市中心的办公地点
Hyde Park 海德公园
(LEFT BANK) (左岸)
The British 英国人
Museum 博物馆
Buckingham 白金汉宫
Palace 宫殿
Thames  泰晤士河
20 square miles 20平方英里
10 square miles 10平方英里
Manhattan is approximately twice as large曼哈顿大约是曼哈顿的两倍
as central London (left bank)作为伦敦市中心(左岸)
Barnes & Noble  Barnes & Noble
Central Park 中央公园
Locations in Manhattan 曼哈顿办公地点
82nd and Broadway 第82街和百老汇
5th Ave. 第五大道。
86th St. 第86街
8th Ave. 第八大道。
East River 东河
14th St. 第14街
Hudson River 哈德逊河
Empire State 帝国州
Building 建筑
Houston St. 休斯顿街
Daunt chose to salvage the Upper West Side shop with a $4 million renovation, the same cost as opening a new store of this size, because he felt the building itself was beautiful and the location on Broadway was ideal. He also thought the chain needed a strong presence in this bookish stretch of Manhattan. Coming from London, where there are several dozen Waterstones locations, he was dismayed to find only seven Barnes & Nobles in his “extraordinarily un-bookstored” new city. 当特选择用400万美元的翻新来挽救上西区的商店,与开设这种规模的新店的成本相同,因为他觉得建筑本身很漂亮,而且在百老汇的位置很理想。他还认为,这家连锁店需要在曼哈顿这个书般的地区拥有强大的影响力。他来自伦敦,那里有几十家Waterstones的分店,他沮丧地发现在他“非常没有书店”的新城市里只有七家Barnes & Nobles。
“That’s not because New Yorkers don’t buy books,” he said. “It’s because the bookstores went out of business.” “这不是因为纽约人不买书,”他说。“这是因为书店倒闭了。
Even the bookstores in movies couldn’t afford to stay in business. In the 1998 rom-com “You’ve Got Mail,” Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan play rival Upper West Side booksellers Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly, and she closes the Shop Around the Corner when his Fox & Sons Books chain opens down the street and promises “cheap books and legal, addictive stimulants.” 即使是电影中的书店也负担不起继续营业。在1998年的浪漫喜剧《你有邮件》(You've Got Mail)中,汤姆·汉克斯(Tom Hanks)和梅格·瑞恩(Meg Ryan)扮演竞争对手上西区书商乔·福克斯(Joe Fox)和凯瑟琳·凯利(Kathleen Kelly),当他的福克斯父子书店(Fox & Sons Books)在街上开业并承诺“廉价书籍和合法、令人上瘾的兴奋剂”时,她关闭了拐角处的商店。
The movie was partly based on Barnes & Noble invading the neighborhood and the real-life drama that ensued. The company had a higher market value than Amazon around the time “You’ve Got Mail” hit theaters, but that was 25 years and trillions of dollars ago. It’s quaint to think of a bookstore with an espresso bar as the villainous corporate bully now that Amazon is so big it makes Walmart look small. 这部电影部分基于巴诺书店入侵社区以及随之而来的真实戏剧。在《你有邮件》上映时,该公司的市值高于亚马逊,但那是25年前数万亿美元。将一家拥有浓缩咖啡吧的书店视为邪恶的企业恶霸是很古怪的,因为亚马逊如此之大,以至于沃尔玛看起来很小。
Every bookstore these days is the Shop Around the Corner—even a Fox Books superstore. 如今,每家书店都是拐角处的商店,甚至是福克斯图书超市。
Of course, there are genuine indies thriving in New York today, exquisite shops like McNally Jackson and Books Are Magic and institutions with loyal customers like the Strand. They exude an ineffable charm that is almost impossible to replicate. 当然,今天在纽约有真正的独立公司蓬勃发展,像McNally Jackson和Books Are Magic这样的精致商店,以及像Strand这样拥有忠实顾客的机构。它们散发着几乎无法复制的不可言喻的魅力。
“An indie bookstore is always going to have that idiosyncratic, owner-operated feeling that you’re not going to get in a chain store,” said Dane Neller, the CEO of Shakespeare & Co. in New York. “You’re just not.” “一家独立书店总是会有一种独特的、由老板经营的感觉,你不会进入连锁店,”纽约莎士比亚公司(Shakespeare & Co.)首席执行官戴恩·内勒(Dane Neller)说。“你不是。”
Daunt happens to agree. As someone who can relate to both Joe Fox and Kathleen Kelly, he is uniquely qualified to compare indies and chains, even though he confessed to not having seen “You’ve Got Mail” until after we met. He told me Daunt Books is simply different from a Barnes & Noble—and there is a place for both. “A large store like this will always be much more and much less,” he said. But just because it’s not the same doesn’t mean it can’t be similar. “Within a chain,” he said, “you can create an awful lot of the ethos of an independent bookstore.” 当特碰巧同意。作为一个可以同时与乔·福克斯和凯瑟琳·凯利联系起来的人,他是唯一有资格比较独立和连锁店的人,尽管他承认直到我们见面后才看过“你有邮件”。他告诉我,Daunt Books与Barnes & Noble完全不同,两者都有一席之地。“像这样的大商店总是会越来越多,越来越少,”他说。但仅仅因为它不相同并不意味着它不能相似。“在一个连锁书店里,”他说,“你可以创造出很多独立书店的精神。
The business strategy isn’t the only part of Barnes & Noble that is evolving under Daunt. So is the goal of every bookstore.商业战略并不是Barnes & Noble在Daunt领导下发展的唯一部分。每家书店的目标也是如此。
“To come in and enjoy yourself,” he said. “As opposed to effectively the raison d’être at the moment, which is to rack these books up in a way that you can find them, and then you find the book you want and leave. That’s a big old shift.” “进来享受自己,”他说。“与目前有效的存在理由相反,即以一种你能找到它们的方式将这些书堆起来,然后你找到你想要的书并离开。这是一个很大的旧转变。
In 1998’s ‘You’ve Got Mail,’ Tom Hanks played an executive running a chain modeled on Barnes & Noble. Meg Ryan played an independent rival driven out of business by Hanks. PHOTO: WARNER BROS/EVERETT COLLECTION在1998年的《你有邮件》(You've Got Mail)中,汤姆·汉克斯(Tom Hanks)饰演一位以巴诺书店为蓝本经营连锁店的高管。梅格·瑞恩饰演了一个被汉克斯赶出公司的独立竞争对手。照片:华纳兄弟/埃弗雷特收藏
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‘I didn’t realize how bored I was’“我没有意识到我有多无聊”

One day this summer, Daunt was stumped. He was talking about the device that instructed Barnes & Noble’s staffers where to put each book on every shelf but couldn’t remember its name. He asked a young employee arranging hardcover fiction in the Upper West Side shop for help. She told him it was called a PDT—a portable data terminal. Then she explained that the store’s 30 booksellers weren’t really working with PDTs anymore. They were using their brains instead of following the beep-beep-beep of a scanner. He thanked her and walked away.今年夏天的一天,当特被难住了。他说的是指示巴诺书店员工将每本书放在每个书架上的什么位置的设备,但不记得它的名字。他向一位在上西区商店安排精装小说的年轻员工寻求帮助。她告诉他,这被称为PDT——一种便携式数据终端。然后她解释说,这家书店的30个书商不再真正与PDT合作了。他们使用大脑,而不是跟随扫描仪的哔哔声。他向她道了谢,然后走开了。
“She has no idea who I am,” Daunt whispered. “她不知道我是谁,”当特低声说。
The CEO of Barnes & Noble was standing in the front of a busy store that was completely unrecognizable from six months earlier.巴诺书店(Barnes & Noble)的首席执行官站在一家繁忙的商店前面,这家商店在六个月前完全认不出来。
He was surrounded by books.他被书包围着。
There were 87,756 in stock on a recent day, including 2,000 titles on the ground floor alone, which Daunt estimated to be “a ton more” than before. There were piles of bestselling fiction, nonfiction and mysteries. There were popular cookbooks and children’s books hugging the columns where shoppers naturally gravitate. There was an upstairs level that stretched across the building on a full city block. And there was still an entire wall of bare shelves waiting to be lined. “We need more books,” said Victoria Harty, the assistant store manager. 最近一天有87,756种库存,其中仅一楼就有2,000种标题,Daunt估计比以前“多了一吨”。有成堆的畅销小说、非小说和推理小说。有流行的烹饪书和儿童读物拥抱着购物者自然吸引的专栏。楼上有一个楼层,横跨整个城市街区的建筑物。还有一整面墙的光秃秃的架子等待排队。“我们需要更多的书,”助理店长维多利亚·哈蒂(Victoria Harty)说。
But swarming Barnes & Noble shoppers with books wasn’t enough. The books themselves also had to be optimized for discovery. Many covers face outward instead of spines. Handwritten staff picks float off shelves. Neatly curated tables are organized in clever ways that transcend algorithmic recommendations.但是,让巴诺书店的购物者们拿着书还不够。书籍本身也必须针对发现进行优化。许多覆盖物朝外而不是刺。手写的工作人员镐从货架上飘了下来。整齐策划的表格以超越算法建议的巧妙方式组织。
It had been grueling to keep the store open during construction, but the booksellers could see the results of that work in this humming store, even if it wasn’t nearly done yet. “There’s a thousand little things that need doing,” said Jason Byrnes, the store’s manager. 在施工期间保持商店的营业一直很辛苦,但书商可以在这家嗡嗡作响的商店中看到这项工作的结果,即使它还没有完成。“有一千件小事需要做,”商店经理杰森·伯恩斯(Jason Byrnes)说。
Assistant Manager Victoria Harty and Manager Jason Byrnes at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble.助理经理Victoria Harty和经理Jason Byrnes在Upper West Side Barnes & Noble。
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Byrnes went to elementary school in the neighborhood, so this was his childhood bookstore long before it was his office. After working in other Barnes & Nobles around Manhattan and Brooklyn, he was recruited back to the one where he grew up. Daunt said the store’s former manager oversaw the initial phase of the construction so well that he moved her into a new role handling those projects elsewhere. To fill the vacancy, he looked for talented booksellers with local knowledge and skills that would fit well together, and he found people like Harty and Byrnes. It turned out having the authority to make their own decisions was more stimulating, gratifying and way more fun than taking orders from a machine. 伯恩斯在附近上小学,所以早在他成为办公室之前,这里就是他童年的书店。在曼哈顿和布鲁克林附近的其他Barnes & Nobles工作后,他被招募回他长大的地方。当特说,这家商店的前经理很好地监督了施工的初始阶段,以至于他将她调到一个新的角色,在其他地方处理这些项目。为了填补空缺,他寻找具有当地知识和技能的才华横溢的书商,这些书商非常适合他们,他找到了像哈蒂和伯恩斯这样的人。事实证明,拥有自己决定的权力比接受机器的命令更刺激、更令人满意、更有趣。
“I didn’t realize how bored I was,” Byrnes said. “我没有意识到我有多无聊,”伯恩斯说。
To run hundreds of stores the way he runs the one with his name, Daunt needs to recruit more full-time employees and pay them to stick around. They won’t become model booksellers overnight. Many won’t be booksellers forever. But most can grow to be great at one part of the job and show their peers at nearby stores how they do it. The person studying data to order books at one Barnes & Noble in Atlanta can train inventory specialists at other stores in the area more effectively than an executive from corporate headquarters. It’s a brilliant formula when it works: Daunt likes to say that the less he does, the smarter he looks.为了像他以自己的名字经营的那样经营数百家商店,当特需要招募更多的全职员工,并付钱让他们留下来。他们不会在一夜之间成为模范书商。许多人不会永远成为书商。但大多数人都可以在工作的某一部分表现出色,并向附近商店的同龄人展示他们是如何做到的。在亚特兰大的一家Barnes & Noble研究数据以订购书籍的人可以比公司总部的高管更有效地培训该地区其他商店的库存专家。当它起作用时,这是一个绝妙的公式:当特喜欢说他做得越少,他看起来越聪明。
YOU MAY ALSO LIKE 您可能还喜欢4:01Paused0:01/6:01TAP FOR SOUNDBarnes & Noble grew into a bookselling powerhouse thanks in part to the rapid expansion of its cookie-cutter retail locations. After years of struggling against e-commerce, it’s adopted a local strategy, empowering individual stores to decide on inventory and displays. Photo illustration: Ryan TrefesBarnes & Noble成长为一家图书销售巨头,部分原因在于其千篇一律的零售店的迅速扩张。经过多年与电子商务的斗争,它采用了本地战略,使各个商店能够决定库存和展示。图片说明:瑞安·特雷夫斯
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But to look around a Barnes & Noble with him is to see the questions worth thinking about in every nook of the bookstore. What is the optimal table density? Does “Life” by Keith Richards belong with other memoirs or music books about the Rolling Stones? How should the history section be arranged? 但是,和他一起环顾巴诺书店,就会在书店的每个角落看到值得思考的问题。最佳工作台密度是多少?基思·理查兹(Keith Richards)的《生活》是否属于其他关于滚石乐队的回忆录或音乐书籍?历史部分应该如何安排?
There’s not always a right answer. But there are wrong answers. It baffles Daunt that 20% of the chain’s locations sort history books alphabetically by author. “This was a store that had history arranged A-to-Z,” he said last month. “Now it’s chronological.” 并不总是一个正确的答案。但是有错误的答案。令Daunt感到困惑的是,该连锁店20%的位置按作者的字母顺序对历史书籍进行排序。“这是一家有历史安排的A到Z的商店,”他上个月说。“现在是按时间顺序排列的。”
A bookstore should be intuitive enough for a child to navigate but compelling enough that adults don’t mind getting lost. Because this one has an eccentric layout over 28,000 square feet—books on two floors, gifts and toys on the mezzanine—Byrnes and his team made it a priority to improve the flow. They reconfigured the map based on customer feedback. On the upstairs level, where toddlers run around and teens flirt after school, they moved entire sections around. “Then moved them again and moved them again,” he said. Rows of books became rooms of books. Displays on the side of bookcases were treated like vertical tables. Shelves grew two rows taller to “reclaim the air” without reducing inventory, Daunt said. 书店应该足够直观,让孩子浏览,但又足够引人注目,让成年人不介意迷路。因为这个房间的布局古怪,面积超过28,000平方英尺——两层楼有书籍,夹层有礼物和玩具——伯恩斯和他的团队把改善流程作为优先事项。他们根据客户反馈重新配置了地图。在楼上,幼儿跑来跑去,青少年放学后调情,他们移动了整个部分。“然后再次移动它们,再次移动它们,”他说。一排排的书变成了书的房间。书柜侧面的陈列品被视为垂直桌子。Daunt说,货架长高了两排,以便在不减少库存的情况下“回收空气”。
There were another thousand little things that still needed to be done—and those small details would turn into something much bigger. Daunt has learned from his decades of experience that there is a direct correlation between how a bookstore looks and how it performs. 还有一千件小事需要做——这些小细节会变成更大的事情。当特从他几十年的经验中了解到,书店的外观和表现之间存在直接关系。
“It’s really peculiar if good bookstores don’t sell more books,” he said. “They always do in the end.” “如果好的书店不卖更多的书,那真的很奇怪,”他说。“他们最终总是这样做的。”
The real question is how many more. Daunt expects this Barnes & Noble’s sales to double from their 2019 levels by 2026. 真正的问题是还有多少。Daunt预计,到2026年,Barnes & Noble的销售额将比2019年翻一番。
But the remodeled store is already seeing a sales uptick because of the shrewd decisions of its booksellers. By the front door is a table of literary historical fiction that includes “The Weight of Ink” by Rachel Kadish and “People of the Book” by Geraldine Brooks, paperbacks that had been hiding upstairs because they were published several years ago. Harty moved them downstairs. She knew they would interest highbrow Jewish readers on the Upper West Side more than the median shopper in the average market. She was right. They went from selling one copy a month to 20. 但改造后的商店已经看到了销售额的上升,因为其书商的精明决定。前门旁边是一张文学历史小说的桌子,其中包括雷切尔·卡迪什(Rachel Kadish)的《墨水的重量》(The Weight of Ink)和杰拉尔丁·布鲁克斯(Geraldine Brooks)的《书中的人》(People of the Book),这些平装书因为几年前出版而一直藏在楼上。哈蒂把他们搬到楼下。她知道,他们比普通市场中的中位数购物者更能吸引上西区的高档犹太读者。她是对的。他们从每月销售一份增加到 20 份。
“One of the first things we did when we first got here was to start building the tables,” Byrnes said. “To watch the titles we brought in consistently show up as our top-selling books was very satisfying.” “当我们第一次来到这里时,我们做的第一件事就是开始建造桌子,”伯恩斯说。“看到我们带来的书源不断成为我们最畅销的书,我感到非常满意。”
Daunt and I were standing by that table last month when a shopper walked past us with a Daunt Books tote bag—the ultimate sign that something unexpected is happening at Barnes & Noble. 上个月,当一位购物者拿着一个Daunt Books手提袋从我们身边走过时,Daunt和我站在那张桌子旁——这是Barnes & Noble正在发生意想不到的事情的终极迹象。
“We’re giving them what I think they recognize as a really good bookstore,” Daunt said. “我们给他们的东西我认为他们认为是一家非常好的书店,”当特说。
But I was curious for one more opinion of the Barnes & Noble on the Upper West Side. So a few weeks ago, I emailed Joe Fox himself: Tom Hanks. 但我很好奇上西区的Barnes & Noble还有一点看法。所以几周前,我给乔·福克斯本人发了电子邮件:汤姆·汉克斯。
As it happens, Hollywood’s most famous bibliophile recently published his first novel, which is featured on its own table in this chain bookstore that’s beginning to feel like an indie. 碰巧的是,好莱坞最著名的藏书家最近出版了他的第一部小说,这本小说在这家连锁书店的桌子上展出,这家连锁书店开始感觉像一个独立书店。
“I’ve never been in the newly transformed B&N,” Hanks wrote, “but I approve the concept.”“我从来没有去过新改造的B&N,”汉克斯写道,“但我赞同这个概念。
There were 87,756 titles in stock on a recent day at the Upper West Side Barnes & Noble.最近一天,上西区巴诺书店(Upper West Side Barnes & Noble)有87,756种图书库存。
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Write to Ben Cohen at ben.cohen@wsj.com写信给本·科恩 ben.cohen@wsj.com
Copyright ©2023 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved. 87990cbe856818d5eddac44c7b1cdeb8
Appeared in the July 29, 2023, print edition as 'Barnes & Noble Turns the Page'.出现在 2023 年 7 月 29 日的印刷版中,名为“巴诺书店翻开了一页”。