Sunday, January 04, 2004

With registry records already on the Internet and electronic document recording only two months away, big changes are coming to the registry. But if you look at the effect that technology has had on other businesses, you might conclude that the registry won't change all that much. Today's newspaper had a story about the resurgence of Barnes and Noble. A year ago, many analysts were already eulogizing the big bookseller, viewing it as a victim of online sales by and the enormous growth of book sales at discounters such as Walmart and Costco. The analysts were wrong. Barnes and Noble's stock has risen more than 80% over the past year. What happened? Online sales have stabilized at only about 10% of all book sales, and Costco and Walmart only sell a few dozen titles, almost all from the best seller lists. It turns out that nothing will replace browsing around the stacks at the bookstore.

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