The year is 2001. 600+ Waldenbooks, 350+ Borders, 550+ B&N’s, and still about 100+ B. Daltons.
The retail landscape for selling books has changed drastically over the past decade. Amazon just announced that The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins is now officially the best-selling series ever in Amazon history even ahead of the 7 book Harry Potter series.
It is really amazing to look at how the retail landscape has changed. Remember the midnight events at Borders, B&N, and your local bookstores at the height of Harry Potter mania? When Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Book #3) came out in July of 2002, this writer remembers being at a national sales meeting with Borders/Waldenbooks and the contest was how many copies will be sold in the first day in the stores. If memory serves me right, I believe the Waldenbooks stores (600+) alone sold almost 130,000 books in the first day. I do not know what the other stores sold, but then have to in the same ballpark.
Now shift forward to 2012. Total number of Borders, Waldenbooks, and B. Daltons = Zero. Nada. Nothing. How many copies of The Hunger Games have these stores sold? Zero. Sure the big box merchants have picked up some of these sales that normally would have gone to bookstores. However it really shows just how much product Amazon ships in just one of their many product categories.
Sara Nelson, editorial director of books and Kindle at Amazon.com, stated.: “Interestingly, this series is only three books versus Harry Potter’s seven, and to achieve this result in just four years is a great testament to both the popularity of the work and, we think, the growth in reading digitally during that time. Customers love these books and all three titles are consistently on our Top 10 lists in both print and Kindle formats, and ‘The Hunger Games’ is also the most-borrowed book in the Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.”
Over 40 years we have seen book sales move from independent stores to mall based stores to superstores and now to Amazon. Who or what will replace Amazon in the future?