Steve Riggio, CEO of Barnes and Noble, stated today during BN’s first quarter conference call that Barnes and Noble is open to alternative solutions to deal with unsold books. Currently mass markets are stripped and thrown away with the covers being sent back to the publisher for credit. I’m not sure how trade and hardcover book returns are managed. Riggio says that the current return policy is expensive and that a new solution could be obtained in a year or so.
I think its important to note that Riggio is not advocating the end of returns as the Publishers’ Weekly title might suggest but an end to the traditional practice.