Barnes & Noble to Begin Selling Household Items

Published by: Frank Galvano on 20th Oct 2011 | View all blogs by Frank Galvano
Barnes-noble-marketplace.jpg
Barnes & Noble to Begin Selling Household Items

Barnes & Noble, in an effort to make up for plummeting books sales, is expanding its business to begin selling home products and consumer electronics in its online marketplace.  The largest bookstore chain in the US, Barnes & Noble has struggled over the last few years to remain profitable as more and more Americans make the shift to digital books and physical book sales decline rapidly. 

The company has become a major player in the e-book sector with its marketplace, but now will begin selling a variety of household items from some 20 third-party sellers in an effort to more effectively compete with larger e-commerce retailers Amazon and eBay.  The Barnes & Noble Marketplace will allow third-party companies to sell their products on the bn.com website.  For providing bn.com members as customers to these companies and processing the transaction, the company will keep a commission of either 8 or 15 percent, depending on the item.

Barnes & Noble said it will limit the number of retailers it works with for the new categories in its marketplace in order to maintain its image with shoppers, a decision that has been applauded by analysts, but because of the limited selection, most do not expect the move to generate a substantial amount of revenue.  During the third quarter, sales on bn.com increased nearly 37 percent to $198 million, and now account for about 14 percent of the company's total sales.

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