Barnes & Noble, Inc.: Maintaining A Competitive Edge In An Ever-changing Industry

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Wendy Hall
Atul Gupta


Competitive Strategy, Value Management, Performance Management


On Christmas Eve in 2007, Barnes & Noble’s Chief Executive Officer, Steve Riggio, sat in his Manhattan apartment overlooking the busy streets of NYC and was hoping that the last minute shoppers were making their Christmas purchases at the B&N Union Square flagship store.  However, he could not help but worry about the increasing competition in the retail industry, specifically, the book industry.  Riggio wondered if shoppers would even be in the stores or would they have already done their shopping on-line?  If they had done their shopping on-line, would they have used or  In the midst of a struggling economy, would shoppers choose to shop at discount stores such as Costco or Target?  These were just a few of the questions that Riggio was asking himself at the end of a very tough year.  Riggio considered where Barnes & Noble would be in 5, 10, or even 20 years.  Unfortunately, with the increasing competition, technological advances, and changes in book industry trends, Riggio knew that the answers were not only complex; they were yet to be determined.


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