Thanks to my job as well as my interests in technology, I tend to visit most of the major tech stores on a regular basis. I don’t think anyone would argue with the fact that computer books occupy a smaller portion of the store at CompUSA and BestBuy today than they did a few years ago. In fact, not only is the space smaller, but the books are also generally hidden in one of the lowest traffic areas of the store.
This is the result of the tech downturn, the loss of so many tech jobs, the more tech savvy customer base, etc., right? Lower demand means less shelf space in the store. Sounds fair. But if that’s the case, why do smaller chains like Fry’s and Micro Center have such enormous book sections?
I’m not suggesting that larger book sections at CompUSA and BestBuy would have a huge impact on the computer book market... But, I wonder if part of the diminishing book sales picture at these accounts is a self-fulfilling prophecy: They see sales drop, so they reduce the space, causing sales to drop even faster.
I love shopping at stores like Fry’s and Micro Center, mostly because they seem to have broader selections of a lot of things, not just books. They’re smaller chains, of course, but they seem to attract more of the hard-core techie than some of the larger chains. Maybe the “big guys” could learn a thing or two from the smaller players.
What’s your opinion? Are the CompUSA/BestBuy customers considerably different from the Fry’s/Micro Center ones, at least when it comes to books?