Barnes and Noble Market TrendResearch Paper

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Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), ranked amongst the Fortune 500 companies, is the largest retail bookseller in the United States and is also a prominent seller of content, digital mass media and informative merchandises (Annual Report, 2013). In its business operations, as of 2nd May 2015, the company had 640 bookstores in 50 states in the nation and also has its e-commerce website which is BN.com. In addition, the Nook Digital business offers a listing of NOOK tablets, eReaders, and an extensive assortment of digital reading and entertainment content through NOOK Store (Barnes & Noble, 2015).

Domestic Environment and Government Regulation Impact

The Board has approved governance principles that mirror the company's commitment to conduct its business undertakings and dealings with the utmost level of uprightness and ethical standards. This is a policy undertaken by Barnes & Noble, Inc., applicable also to its subsidiaries and affiliates as also to abide by the law. The company has espoused Code of Business Conduct & Ethics that is applicable to all directors, officers and employees. Supplementary policies and procedures that enhance the guidelines in the Code are in the Employee Handbook and in the Reference Center on Barnes & Noble Inside (Barnes & Noble, 2015).

Governments form the guidelines and structures that make it possible for businesses to compete against each other. The government will alter or modify these rules and strictures at times, compelling businesses to adjust their manner of operation. For instance, businesses are largely impacted by different government policies such as minimum wage, value added tax as also policies for the disabled (Business Case Studies Team, 2015). Regulation of the internet, e-commerce, and digital content is constantly changing and disparaging variations could adversely impact Barnes & Noble's business. The company is subject to regulations on business in general and more so by those distinctively for the internet, e-commerce and digital information products. Prevailing and impending rules and guidelines might hinder the growth and progress of the internet, digital content distribution as well as other online services. Disparaging regulations and decrees could reduce the level of demand for Barnes & Noble's products and services and increase the expenses of undertaking business (Form 10- Q, 2009).

Global Environment and Government Regulation Impact

Amazon is without doubt, amongst the biggest retail companies in the world with a market value of over $100 billion. The company attains its great level of success through its online retail business. Considering that the costs incurred are much less compared to conventional physical locations, the company is able to offer its products to the consumers at a much lower price. Rival companies, for instance Amazon are presently taking up and increasing their (Barnes and Noble) market share, which in turn causes decline in profits. In addition, continuous and amplified government intervention on the online retail segment of books is also causing the cost and expense of sales to increase. The main solution to this particular problem is for the company to come to the realization that its book stores can in fact be a main asset to the company. That is because, competitors like Amazon do not have any physical location stores and therefore are unable to offer consumers any hands-on interaction. As such, Barnes & Noble ought to employ its bookstores to promote and market its e-book to customers. The personnel working within the stores ought to be able to offer comprehensive demonstration to the consumers to attain a proper understanding of the capabilities of the products. Through promotion of its products within these stores, the company will attain a diverse consumer base. Such a posture will enable the company to attain a competitive advantage over rival companies such as Amazon. In addition, government regulation is rising in the online retail segment. This will cause a rise in the charges and expenses of online sales which is a key component of their business operations (Best et al., 2010).

Hard and Soft technology, with characteristics the company should have/use to be successful in its domestic and global environment

In definition, hard technologies are frail and suppress creativity. They inhibit or preclude us from undertaking things and that is precisely why they are employed. Hard technologies function as filters in the sense that they configure our spaces and bring limitation in what we can do. On the other hand, soft technologies support and stimulate creativity and flexibility. These kinds of technologies are inadequate and deprived. Different from hard technologies, they are simple and easy to produce. However, they are difficult to use (Mackness, 2011). Through soft technologies, Barnes & Noble.com influences the supremacy of the Barnes & Noble brand to provide online consumers the Web's leading destination for books, eBooks, publications, figurines & games, music, and associated products and services. On the other hand, in hard technologies, the company's segments include Barnes & Noble Retail (B&N Retail). The business operations comprises of 648 physical bookstores in around 50 states. The company's major business is the sale of hardcover and paperback consumer labels and mass-market paperbacks (BKS: NYSE, 2015).

By making the most of its numerous and massive warehouses across the United States, Barnes & Noble stocks more than one million titles for instant delivery, a figure that exceeds that of any other online bookseller. The search engine of Barnes & Noble helps consumers find and track down books by author, titles, or using the keyword conveniently and instantaneously. Consumers who have a precise idea of what they want can browse pages through several categories and classifications to access the book of their interest. In addition, the company helps the users by offering reviews and descriptions and even allows consumers to read passages of several thousands of titles. Furthermore, the company offers recommendations from editors and reviews of consumers of numerous titles in the categories. The B&N Marketplace offers hundreds and millions of used and new products from reliant vendors, frequently at cut-rate prices, backed by the assurance and security of BN.com. The company's exceptional assortment of Rare & Collectible Books features distinctive discoveries for instance signed and first editions and out of print books. Barnes & Noble.com has also fashioned numerous comprehensive stores that are easy to use, consisting of Libros en espanol, Award Winners, Audiobooks, and Bargain Books. The company provides an unbelievable assortment of content (Barnes & Nobles, 2015).

Politicolegal barriers for the company in both the domestic and global environments with business theory/theorists to illustrate how the company can operate successfully in its domestic and global environment

During the 1990s, Barnes & Noble was renowned for being the largest bookseller in the market and being dominant in the bookselling business in the United States. In the present day, Amazon is the leading bookseller in the nation while Barnes & Noble, if speculation is to be believed, is on the verge of collapse. The company still has plenty to attain globally according to the views of Forrester media consultant James McQuivey, Ph.D., who is a specialist in the book publishing industry. However, it is considered that B&N still has ample time to make a difference and regain most of its marketshare. It is imperative for the company to scale up its business across different nations considering the fact that it cannot continue relying on the physical location for its sales revenues. In essence, the company has to expand its retail by opening its established and well-known Nooks in several nations as quickly as possible in order to begin constructing its content business globally (Greenfield, 2012).

One of the obstacles or barriers that the company faces both domestically and internationally is the online piracy of e-books. As more and more books are being digitized, the company faces new threats for instance the illegal resale and pirating of the books. On the legal front, Barnes & Noble has faced a number of lawsuits allegedly that the websites of the company had violated the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, these lawsuits have since been settled or dropped once the company decided to make its software compatible with devices designed for visually impaired users (Kretchmer & Carveth, 2003).

Identification, Comparison, and Contrast between sociocultural factors of the domestic and global environments of the company

With regards to the domestic reading culture and environment, books can be substituted by other kinds of entertainment such as the internet, television and also movies. Other forms of substitutes can be magazines and newspapers as they are easily accessible online. In addition, substitutes for reading can be leisure activities such as indoor as well as outdoor leisure pursuits and hobbies (Vu et al., 2012).

In contrast, Barnes & Noble faces numerous barriers and obstacles as it attempts to reach out to the international market. The biggest obstacle that it faces is sociocultural differences. In the present times, the company has to ensure that any international business venture has to have an e-book element, as the society is becoming digital. Amazon is one of the company's top competitors as it competes not only nationally but… [END OF PREVIEW]

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