August 18th, 2005

2013

what small bookstores can do

"In my research, reading, and imagining, I've come up with a list of changes small bookstores can use to increase profits and remain viable when challenged by Barnes & Noble and Amazon.com for their products.
  1. Mix used book sales with new book sales...

  2. Own your building...

  3. Magazines are impulse buys; do not devote floorspace to a 'magazine area'...

  4. Do not devote large sales areas to 'big name' books, nor technical titles, nor time-sensitive books...

  5. 5-foot-tall bookshelves may make space look larger, but a 6-foot-tall bookshelf adds room for many more books in the same floorspace...

  6. Events remind people that your store sells books...

  7. Store hours can be from 2pm - 11pm...

  8. Have a way for customers to electronically search your inventory on their own, or have this information readily available...

  9. Make customer orders simple...

  10. See what deals are available with your distributor or individual publishers...

  11. Have space available for meetings and clubs...

  12. Trust employee recommendations, and order books accordingly..."


Read the article


I agree with them all but feel more strongly about 5 and 7. 5 irks me more than anything else about the megastore chains. I've been in some stores where the top of the bookcases reach chest-high or to my chin and I'm left wondering if maybe leprechauns make up the customer base. I shouldn't be able to see a fellow customer in the next aisle over the case. Brightness levels bug me too. Typically it's so bright in there you'd have to hunt to find a shadow. The most comfortable bookstore I've been in was one I found while on a trip to Berkeley. The store was narrow but multistoried. There were shadowed corners, the aisles were narrowish, the floors separated into new books (bottom floor) and used (2nd floor.) The store reeked of coziness. I wasn't at that time a big book reader and I certainly did not intend to buy a book while in there (with 3 friends) but out I walked with a used copy of "Modern Chess Openings, Eighth Edition."

Point #7 is something that applies to many retail-type stores, not just bookstores. Why does everything shut down at 5pm?? Seriously, by shifting the store hours by 3-4 hours later in the day they'd pick up a hell of a lot more business by people who work "normal" hours.
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2013

more like mellow cows

Tue Aug 16, 1:22 PM ET MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's long winter will just fly by for a herd of Russian cows which, a newspaper reported on Tuesday, will be fed confiscated marijuana over the cold months.

Drug workers said they adopted the unusual form of animal husbandry after they were forced to destroy the sunflowers and maize crops that the 40 tonnes of marijuana had been planted among, Novye Izvestia daily reported.

"There is simply no other way out. You see, the fields are planted with feed crops and if we remove it all the cows will have nothing to eat," a Federal Drugs Control Service spokeswoman for the Urals region of Sverdlovsk told the paper.

"I don't know what the milk will be like after this."

Drug use in Russia took off with the decline of the Soviet Union and police have been fighting drug smugglers -- often shipping heroin from Afghanistan -- for years.

Such large hauls are relatively common, although they are normally burned.


I laughed and immediately thought of the "Great cheese comes from happy cows" commercials for Real California Cheese.
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2013

damn corporate suits

USOC forces new name for ferret competition

EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — After nine years of slippery, slinky competition, the Ferret Olympics is being forced to change its name — the U.S. Olympic Committee has threatened to sue.

An estimated 75 ferrets will vie for medals at the Ferret Agility Trials on Sunday in events including the tube run and the paper bag escape. Only "they are not Olympians anymore," organizer Melanee Ellis said with a laugh.

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