Publishers to Butt Heads with Retailers Online?

Thread Title:
As Sales Flag, Publisher Eyes Retailers' Turf
Thread Description:

The largest publishing house in the US, Random House has voiced plans to enter the retail market and sell books directly to the public online.

Barnes and Noble are not happy, and I shouldn't imagine Amazon are either. From the NYT story threadlinked above:

Last week, Peter W. Olson, the chief executive of Random House Inc., the nation's largest publisher, disclosed the company's tentative plans to sell books directly to consumers through its own Web site. On Friday, Stephen Riggio, the chief executive of Barnes & Noble Inc., the country's largest bookseller, said that he was "deeply concerned" by Random House's plans to enter into his business, raising the possibility of a growing rift between the publishing companies.

Could be quite a mess if B&N/Amazon dont bully them out of the idea...


There was a similar most by o

There was a similar move by one of the known (I can't remember if it was a major one) publishers over a year ago. It drew a similar "deeply concerned" remark from Amazon or B&N and I never heard any more about it.

Here's a thought...

I've no idea how they do biz in the publising industry but if I were about to put a little hike on my prices due to pressure from shareholders or whatever over flagging growth - i might just take a friendly shot accross the bows to let the downstream know that i could be doing a lot worse than putting up prices..

Maybe that's a bit far fetched, but it does seem like a weird/desperate move from them does it not?

In past years I was in fairly

In past years I was in fairly in-depth talks with a well-known, super-regional publisher that does a lot of travel and coffee-table books for the Southern USA, in particular. I've also had a long-standing deal (going on 8 years now) with two independent publishers who trade me excerpts for traffic. The independents know that they need the distribution systems of magazines, specialty catalogs (you'd be surprised how many related-topic books they sell from product catalogs), B&N, and Amazon. OTOH, the larger houses see their margins, marketshare, and bookstore distribution systems being eaten alive by Amazon and book superstores and feel like they have to do something in order to survive.

THAT said, IMO they've missed much of their chance. They are just one of many dinosaurs that should have moved but didn't.

There's always the possibilit

There's always the possibility of the publishers simply sabre rattling, to try and get a better price on Amazon and co. I hear the margins are pretty tight on there.

Then again, the way that Amazon is expanding, they won't need to worry about a piddly little thing like books sales. They already have capture on CDs, DVDs, software, clothing, and household items - and I expect much more over the next coupel of years.

It happened wih supermarkets

There was a time when the bricks and mortar retail trade was supplied only by wholesalers..

...eventually most manufacturers cut out the wholesalers and sold direct to the supermarkets.

The big manufacturers like Proctor & Gamble got away with it as the wholesalers had to carry on stocking their products, the smaller ones had to continue via the wholesaler as they could not afford gefting de-listed by the wholesaler.

Reckon the Random House's of this world would continue to be stocked by Amazon even if they sold online themselves.

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