Barnes & Noble Doesn't Get Digital DC Comics, Throws Hissy Fit

from the cutting-off-your-nose-to-spite-your-face dept

In a move that screams of a complete disconnect from reality, Barnes & Noble (B&N) has decided to remove over 100 DC comics from its shelves. This move is in reaction to DC giving Amazon exclusive e-publishing rights to the digital versions of those comics.

In a statement to CNN, Jaime Carey, B&N's chief merchant, said:
Regardless of the publisher, we will not stock physical books in our stores if we are not offered the available digital format. To sell and promote the physical book in our store showrooms and not have the e-book available for sale would undermine our promise to Barnes & Noble customers to make available any book, anywhere, anytime.
Read that again. Since B&N did not get the rights to the digital version of the comics, it will be denying customers access to the physical comics. How exactly does this fulfill the promise of providing DC comics "anywhere, anytime"? How are comic fans who frequent B&N supposed to get these comics if the comics are not available in-store? This move certainly flies in the face of that promise.

With this move, B&N is hoping to 'punish' DC with fewer sales. In reality, this will only tick off its comic loving customers who will have to go to another store in order to buy these comics. While this move will probably make B&N feel better, it will not result in any real change to its partnership with DC. This is yet another company putting its own interests ahead of the interests of its customers. Much like those other businesses, this is going to bite them in the butt and they will end up backtracking soon.

Filed Under: comics, ebooks
Companies: amazon, barnes & noble, dc comics


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  1. identicon
    mikey4001, 11 Oct 2011 @ 12:12pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    It might (or might not) be reasonable in this case to consider the possibility that maybe there are as many or more people who like to shop at B&N and end up purchasing DC products, than people who like DC products and specifically shop for them at B&N. The answer to that question could likely have played a role in this decision. One of the things that brick & mortar stores can still offer (but few do) is a clean, pleasant shopping environment with knowledgeable staff. In a bookstore environment, this lends itself to browsing. Browsers will now buy something other than DC at B&N. If I go to a bookstore to spend 15 or 20 bucks, I generally spend it, whether they have my first choice or not. That's just me, I know, but I don't think I'm completely alone.

    If we were discussing any other type of business, I can still see see the same decisions being made. Let's pretend I own a bar: If the bar across was town was offered *Beer in bottle and draft, but I was only allowed to sell it in bottles, I would likely end my relationship with *Beer distributor. Most of my customers come to my bar because they like it more than the bar across town, and they will be content to drink what I sell, as long as I have something comparable in style and price to *Beer. Certainly one can argue that this will irk the customers who like *Beer the most, but I would hardly consider it an illogical business decision, and I would certainly not consider it to be cutting off my nose to spite my face. I offer many things in my bar, not just *Beer and *Import beer, but also friendly-ish service, dirty jokes, pool tables, and maybe a scantily clad bartender on Friday night. *Beer distributor offers only *Beer, and nothing else to his customers. I see no reason to feel obligated to tolerate *Beer distributor and his short-sighted shenanigans. Yes, I have to compete with the bar across town, but so does *Beer distributor need compete with *Other beer and *Import beer distributors.

    The young man that goes to B&N looking for Batman and can't find it may discover manga, and never look back.

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