The largest bookstore in the nation sells less books a year than a company whose focus isn’t even books. According to 2011 statics, while Barnes & Noble carries 17% of the book-buying market share, Amazon carries 23%.
Between 2001 and 2008, over 1,000 bookstore companies closed their doors. Since 2008, the fatality has been in the multi-thousands.
Americans just don’t buy books in person anymore.
Then why when I went to Charlottesville’s Barnes & Noble last night for some last-minute Christmas shopping did I wait in line for 20 minutes to check out?!? Why were the isles so crowded that I couldn’t even bend over to pick up the Steinbeck novel I was searching for?
Barnes & Noble sells coffee.
There were just as many shoppers in the café as there were in the isles. In fact, the café had a longer line than Barnes & Noble! Shoppers had come to shop and to commune; they had come to buy and to read. It was a place of purchase and connection.
The “…and we also sell coffee” marketing tactic has kept Barnes & Noble afloat in a word of sinking ships. The average book-buyer is 45 to 64, white, has a high income, is married, lives in the west, and is a college graduate.
“…and we also sell coffee” has given Barnes & Noble the ability to draw in another persona: the coffee house and busy-mom crowd. People who, in addition to shopping, need a caffeinated lift to their day.
Charlottesville Digital Marketing is no different. Find the small niche that can set your company apart and go for it.
Be the plumbing company that “also cleans your kitchen floor when we leave.” Be the grocer who “gives free foods to children” while their parents are shopping.
In other words, please “also sell coffee.”