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The Final Chapter: How Independent Booksellers Can Adapt to a Changing Industry

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The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing

The purpose of this thesis is to examine the current state of the brick-and-mortar bookselling industry, with particular focus on independent bookstores and their strengths and weaknesses, and synthesizing recommendations for these bookstores to reinvent themselves in a rapidly changing market. This examination is highly relevant given recent concerns that, with the rise of e-retailers like Amazon and the closure of bookstore chain Borders, brick-and-mortar bookstores may be superseded by new digital vendors. Independent bookstores are thought to be at a particular disadvantage to these retailers, given their limited size and resources, as well as the lack of capital or consumer base that a larger chain like Barnes and Noble can draw upon to invest in emerging technology. With these more limited financial opportunities, independent bookstores must find different ways to not only keep abreast of the technology that consumers are coming to expect from modern businesses, but attract customers.
To gain insight into the state of the industry and current position of independent bookstores, I will first examine the past fifty years of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, followed by a Porter’s Five Forces analysis of the industry threats and a SWOT analysis to compare the strengths and weaknesses of independent bookstores. Next, the patrons of independent bookstores will be discussed with a focus on the two largest consumer groups of Millennials and Baby Boomers, their characteristics, and the opportunities they provide to bookstores. After this there will be an exploration of the competitors to brick-and-mortar bookstores, focusing on Amazon and then touching on some of the other rivals to bookstores’ consumer base. The next section will be an in-depth analysis of a variety of bookstores across the United States, with attention to their successful practices, goals, concerns, and failures. First, there will be a comparison of industry success and failure through case studies of Borders and Powell’s bookstores. Next, there will be a comparison of five beloved independent bookstores across the country to share their varied competitive advantages that are the secret to their success. Finally, there are primary source interviews with the employees of three major Phoenix bookstores, which provide insight into the goals, current projects, attitudes, and inner strengths of these businesses. Finally, the thesis will conclude with a section offering solutions and suggestions for independent bookstores to pursue based on the primary and secondary research discussed above. These recommendations are focused on five key areas:
• Community
• Consumers
• Store Design
• Technology
• Diversification
Ultimately, the information provided by this research and these interviews indicates that while vital business changes are being pursued by independent and chain bookstores across the United States, the independent bookstore shows no signs of disappearing in favor of online vendors or e-readers.

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Date Created
2017-05

Current Trends of the Beauty Industry 2020

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Trends in the beauty industry begin when large portions of the market shift to focus on a specific idea. These trends can be fleeting, or they can be permanent, but they have the ability to alter the course of the

Trends in the beauty industry begin when large portions of the market shift to focus on a specific idea. These trends can be fleeting, or they can be permanent, but they have the ability to alter the course of the industry for decades. Every trend that comes and goes must be analyzed by brands to determine if it is worth following or if it would be more advantageous to take a different path. Some of the biggest trends in the beauty industry right now are inclusivity, sustainability, and clean beauty. I conducted a survey to determine the importance of these trends through consumers’ level of awareness and how the trends effect their purchasing decisions. I found that consumers are very aware of all three trends and that their willingness to purchase from brands that are more inclusive, sustainable, and clean is correlated with how much they are willing to spend on products from brands that follow the trends. The results from the survey suggest that there is a high demand for brands that are inclusive, sustainable, and clean. Therefore, it could be a good idea for brands to follow one or multiple of these trends and incorporate them into their marketing strategies.

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Date Created
2020-05