Retailers

About That B&N Edu Stock…

I’ve talked about the volatility and drop of B&N and B&N Edu stocks. Now it seems like things are about to get even more interesting for stock-holders (not to mention accountants and lawyers).

Today’s News Regarding NYSE:BNED Stock:

  • Srijayanth “Jay” Chakrapani, Vice President & Chief Digital Officer at Barnes & Noble Education, sold 6,500 shares on Friday, March 17. Details are here and that article includes a link to the SEC filing.

Insider trading is a tricky thing for obvious reasons. Sometimes a sale is just a sale; other times a sale is a dump by someone who knows something indicating a downward turn. What this is (and keep in mind that Chakrapani still owns more than 60,000 shares) remains to be seen, but a B&N Edu exec selling one-tenth of his shares on a Friday afternoon when the stock has seen better days is worth a Guru mention.

Follett Names New COO

Follett Corp. Names George F. Coe (Baker & Taylor) As COO

Follett got its man as the college bookstore giant named George F. Coe (formerly of Baker & Taylor) its new COO. This is in no way unexpected as Follett continues its rapid consolidation of the college bookstore market. Take a look at what Follett has scooped up in terms of both retail and distribution in less than two years:

  • June 2015: Follett acquired Neebo, Nebraska Book Company’s retail division, adding 200+ college bookstores both on campus and off campus (not to mention Neebo.com).
  • April 2016: Follett acquired Baker and Taylor, thus taking control of the distribution side of academic bookselling.
  • February 2017: Follett names former B&T executive Coe as COO effective March 31, 2017.

Follett’s strategy of vertical integration makes sense in light of the necessity of competing against Amazon. Coupling its already significant college bookstore footprint with Neebo, in addition to buttressing its logistical back-end operations with the Baker & Taylor acquisition, gives Follet a strong bricks-and-mortar competitive advantage that is difficult to replicate. It remains to be seen whether this will be enough to withstand the Amazon juggernaut.

Amazon Welcomes Back California Affiliates

In late June, Amazon severed ties with its California affiliates as a result of being unable to come to an agreement with the state about sales-tax collection. The law enacted at this time, Assembly Bill X28 1, required online retailers to collect sales tax where applicable, just as bricks-and-mortar retailers are required to do. This affected some 10,000 sellers registered under the Amazon Affiliate Program. (more…)