Online book retailer Barnesandnoble.com has raised the
bar on itself and some upstart delivery rivals. In a major marketing push
unleashed today, the company began offering Manhattanites same-day delivery
on over 800,000 book and music titles.
Midtown office workers on their way to work this morning were met by an
army of guerilla marketers, handing out cards with information about the
Also supporting the launch of the new service — full-color ads in The New
York Times and on phone kiosks across the city. Big, yellow trucks are
lumbering about town, festooned with the Barnes & Noble brand, as well.
The company refused to disclose the price of the month-long marketing
effort but did note that it was substantial for the company.
The delivery service promises to bring the books and music to a business or
residence by 7 p.m., as long as the order is placed on the retailer’s Web
site by 11 p.m. that day. The customer pays the same charges as for three-day
Although the goods are coming from a warehouse in New Jersey, the company
sees no problems in the decision to start the delivery process from across
In a statement, Steve Riggio, vice chairman of Barnesandnoble.com
, said the
35 miles of space in its cross-state warehouse qualify the company as
having the largest collection of titles under one roof.
John Rindlaub, a vice president for brand marketing with the company,
acknowledged the competitive pressure from such local start-ups as Kozmo.com, a delivery-in-an-hour service
that also offers books and recently received a $60 million investment from
“The sheer volume of books that Barnes & Noble has at the ready is the big
advantage” over the five thousand or so titles Kozmo and its uptown rival
Urban Fetch deliver, Rindlaub
added. “We’re targeting busy Manhattan residents as well as commuters who
work in the city with the next evolution of e-commerce.”
And since book-selling giant Amazon.com has invested in Kozmo,
Barnesandnoble.com may have little choice in the decision to ramp-up its
The company eventually plans to expand to other cities, he said. After all,
if same-day delivery can triumph over the traffic nightmares in the tunnels
from New Jersey to Manhattan, anything after that could look downright easy.