Big Box Brick and Mortar Singin’ the Blues

Last week, Barnes & Noble CEO Leonard Riggio released sang a dire song for his employees, citing:

Never in all of the years I’ve been in business have I seen a worse outlook for the economy. And never in all my years as a bookseller have I seen a retail climate as poor as the one we are in. Nothing even close.

He goes on to put his note through a couple of stanzas of spin, seeking to land on a happy note.  If I worked for Barnes & Noble, I think I’d still be singin’ the blues, though.  For a CEO to even dream of making such a statement to staff generally belies an outlook at least two or three octaves grimmer than what he/she states.

Trust me, we CEO-types live by C and G majors, not E minor 7ths.

I know for me to sing that type of dirge, I’d not have to only know the company was collapsing, but that earth was being invaded by mean, green little men, and that the world’s supply of coffee was all but used up.  Even then, I’d likely hold a straight minor key, and chase the blues scale away.

One does wonder what it would mean for independent bookstores if all the chains dried up.  Could they survive?  What would it mean for customers?  Michael Lieberman has some thoughts over at Book Patrol worth checking out…

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