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Editorial Selection in Retail

I recently read Into the Wild, the story of Christopher McCandless's journey to Alaska. (If I had known that it was about to become a Sean Penn directed movie, I probably wouldn't have bought it ;)

I had picked up the book because it was on one of the "recommended" tables at Borders. It wasn't a new release, but I grabbed it because it looked interesting.

Louis Borders (he of the bookstore bearing his name) once told me that Borders had slipped after he had left, and that their "editorial selection" wasn't as good anymore.

This was a new idea to me... the idea that a bookstore could have an "editorial voice", based on what they feature on the the end caps, the "staff picks" tables, the books turned cover-facing-out on the bookshelves, and overall in the selection of books that are stocked.

It totally made sense to me. The old Printer's Inc in mountain view used to be a great bookstore. The ownership changed, they remodeled the store, and it feels to me like half the books are gone now. The half I wanted to buy.

It's not just bookstores though. I've started to notice editorial selection everywhere now. I'd never thought about it that way before. Even a restaurant has an editorial selection. Some restaurants try to be all things to all people. This makes sense in a New Jersey diner, but that's not how you get to be the French Laundry. Or In-n-Out burger, for that matter. It's not by being all things to all people.

Comments (1)

You know I bought a cookbook with recipes from the French Laundry. The best ones and the ones I actually learned from, where the ones about making stock. A fancy schmancy high style culinary cookbook and I get the most value from the most basic recipe, go figure.

now back to your regular programming ...

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 8, 2007 11:05 AM.

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