Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Published on 30 Nov 2012

"Our publishers, large and small, are asking questions about business trends that they simply couldn’t ask before, and they’re using the answers to make better decisions. It’s really got them excited." - Tom Williams, director of web services, Barnes & Noble Inc.

Customer:
Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Industry:
Retail

Deployment country:
United States

Solution:
Application Infrastructure, Big Data, Big Data & Analytics, Big Data & Analytics: Operations/Fraud/Threats, Data Warehouse, Smarter Computing, Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet:
Smarter Solutions for Retail

Overview

Barnes & Noble, Inc. was established in the 1970s and has since grown to become the largest book retailer in the United States. The company operates 689 retail bookstores in regional shopping malls, major strip centers and freestanding locations in 50 states, 667 college bookstores, and its online bookstore, barnesandnoble.com. Headquartered in New York City, Barnes & Noble, Inc. employs more than 35,000 full-time and part-time employees. The company sells a variety of books, newspapers, music, DVD/video titles and magazines.

Business need:
With the traditional retail bookselling model under assault from online sales and e-book readers, retailers need to make the in-store experience worth coming back for, and to make the right merchandising decisions to maximize profitability. Barnes & Noble, Inc. recognized the opportunity to extract insights into the behavior of its customers and to share them with the publishers whose books it sold in its stores. With millions of SKUs to keep track of, the company realized it needed more than a data warehouse solution to reap the full potential embedded in its customer and transaction data.

Solution:
By putting powerful data warehousing appliances in place, Barnes & Noble, Inc. and its publishers can look at trends in ways they could only dream of before. Accessing the solution’s wide array of out-of-the-box analytical tools through a tiered-access portal, merchandising and planning employees can make optimized stocking and promotional decisions on a dime instead of waiting precious weeks. This means the company can better translate changing reading patterns into revenue opportunity, and fewer customers will be disappointed by empty shelves.

Benefits:
Reduced the time required to run analytical queries by more than 95 percent; Reduced employee time required to administer the business intelligence solution by more than 70 percent; Improved publishers’ ability to understand and react to market trends, optimize print runs and reduce the cost of unsold book inventory; Enabled the company to optimize its inventory mix, reduce stock-outs and plan more effective promotions.

Case Study

Barnes & Noble, Inc. was established in the 1970s and has since grown to become the largest book retailer in the United States. The company operates 689 retail bookstores in regional shopping malls, major strip centers and freestanding locations in 50 states, 667 college bookstores, and its online bookstore, barnesandnoble.com. Headquartered in New York City, Barnes & Noble, Inc. employs more than 35,000 full-time and part-time employees. The company sells a variety of books, newspapers, music, DVD/video titles and magazines.

The Opportunity
With the traditional retail bookselling model under competitive assault from online sales and e-book readers, retailers need to make the in-store experience worth coming back for, and to make the right merchandising decisions to maximize profitability. Barnes & Noble, Inc. recognized the opportunity to extract rich insights into the behavior of its customers and to share those insights with the thousands of publishers whose books it sold in its stores. But with millions of SKUs to keep track of, Barnes & Noble, Inc. realized it needed more than a lightweight data warehouse solution to reap the full intelligence potential embedded in its customer and transaction data.

What Makes It Smarter
By putting powerful data warehousing appliances in place, Barnes & Noble, Inc. and its publishers can look at trends in ways they could only dream of before. Accessing the solution’s wide array of out-of-the-box analytical tools through a tiered-access portal, merchandising and planning employees can make optimized stocking and promotional decisions on a dime instead of waiting precious weeks. This means the company can better translate changing reading patterns into revenue opportunity, and fewer customers will be disappointed by empty shelves.

Real Business Results

  • Reduced the time required to run analytical queries by more than 95 percent
  • Reduced employee time required to administer the business intelligence solution by more than 70 percent
  • Improved publishers’ ability to understand and react to market trends, optimize print runs and reduce the cost of unsold book inventory
  • Enabled the company to optimize its inventory

Components

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
IBM Netezza 100, IBM Netezza 1000

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2012 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 Produced in the United States November 2012 IBM, the IBM logo and ibm.com are trademarks of International Business Machines Corp., registered in many jurisdictions worldwide. Other product and service names might be trademarks of IBM or other companies. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml Netezza is a trademark or registered trademark of IBM International Group B.V., an IBM Company. This document is current as of the initial date of publication and may be changed by IBM at any time. Not all offerings are available in every country in which IBM operates. The performance data and client examples cited are presented for illustrative purposes only. Actual performance results may vary depending on specific configurations and operating conditions. THE INFORMATION IN THIS DOCUMENT IS PROVIDED “AS IS” WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, INCLUDING WITHOUT ANY WARRANTIES OF MERCHANTABILITY, FITNESS FOR A PARTICULAR PURPOSE AND ANY WARRANTY OR CONDITION OF NON-INFRINGEMENT. IBM products are warranted according to the terms and conditions of the agreements under which they are provided.

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