Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Rent A Book

At the Columbus, Ohio airport, Paradies Bookstore has a decent book collection for a store selling snacks, mementos and books. Having spent an unfortunate amount of time milling around the airport, I am reasonably familiar with the store and I was a little taken aback recently when I saw sticking out of every hardcover book this bookmark. While this is not a unique idea, what is interesting about this program is that it is national. This may be a chain you haven't heard of. You can buy your book in Columbus, read it on the way to San Francisco and return it at their store at SF International for a 50% refund. Repeat the process for the return home. It would be interesting to know what the stats on this program are. As a concept this isn't new; however, I suspect that this is more marketing gimmick than anything. Buyers may think they will return a title but I am betting that only a small percentage actually do so. Purchasers think of the 50% discount and impulsively make a purchase decision. Generally there are few discounted titles at your typical airport store and adding the discount to a return is an interesting way to use discounting without giving money away on every purchase.

Paradies has also announced a partnership with The New York Times to launch NYT branded stores at airports.

What's next a book version of NetFlix - perhaps not so far off.

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