Scene yesterday afternoon at the Local Barnes & Noble — 5 of us in line waiting to pay for books; 1 sales clerk working hard (and telephoning back for help that never came), and the Nook salesperson at the Nook counter waiting sadly for someone to ask him about Nooks, straightening and dusting all his Nook accessories. The line moved so slowly that I called the store — someone picked up — I said “hey you need help up front checking people out” — the person on the other end said everyone was busy helping customers.
A simple proposal — get a payment app working on a Nook with a card reader. If the Nook salesperson isn’t helping anyone, have him wave over a retail customer and check him out on a Nook. For the customers, a win — they get thru the line faster and aren’t annoyed by seeing the Nook guy just stand there doing nothing. For the Nook sales effort, a win — you get a customer over at the Nook counter and you can softly sell him on the attributes of the Nook while checking out.
Last month I whined about in-store presentation. This month checkout. I’d really love to see B&N thrive, I love books and I like bookstores. So I will keep tilting at the windmill.