How should we feel about Barnes and Noble now? | book riots (2023)

When I realized that the Barnes & Noble of my childhood was closing, I was devastated. I love independent bookstores, but when I was a kid, there were no independent bookstores in my town: just a beautiful and cozy Barnes & Noble. We went to book clubs there as kids, met there as teenagers almost every Friday night, studied for SATs there, had coffee there to catch up on summers home from college. He had tons of concentrated memories.

The good news was that it just moved, not closed forever. It would have a new location and be one of the first "new Barnes & Noble stores" using its new design, approach, and model. But was it good news?

Let's go back. Years ago there was a push to support independents over mega-chains, but in recent years the threat from Amazon has changed the story a bit, leading many book lovers (myself included) to acknowledge that Barnes & Noble , as one of the few remaining bricks and mortar. chains, it is still preferable to Amazon. They've made some headway in recent years as they once again become the "hero" of the story, the big box store that outlasted and outlasted Amazon, proving our love for brick-and-mortar locations and physical books despite the odds. odds.

But their new attempt to rejuvenate their stores is a way of embracing the warmth and confidence we have in an independent bookstore while removing the mechanics of an independent on the back end. The maze-like design is meant to be a "curated, welcoming, and engaging space for communities to work, read, and browse." But while branding and new designs may seem innocent, anyone who has worked in the business knows that it's often more complicated than it seems.

After Barnes & Noble was sold to a hedge fund in 2019, the owners Elliott Advisors hired James Daunt, CEO of the UK chain Waterstones (owned by the same company, I might add). HisIt included giving local stores more individualized flexibility to choose what they sell based on local demand, moving away from the gift and toy section, moving locations to smaller physical spaces, and redesigning stores.

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It's no coincidence that Barnes & Noble tried to capture some of what India brought to the table. During the pandemic, books flourished, but also a certain nostalgia for physical spaces and for wandering and browsing in person. Independent bookstores benefited from this, and new ones have popped up across the country in recent years. Barnes & Noble wants to seize this moment.

But all moments are not the same. As Jenn Northingtonunpacked in its piece in 2022, there was a 12.4% drop in hardcover sales from 2021 to 2022. And in 2022, Twitter was buzzing with the realization that Barnes & Noble's new policy seemed to only sell hardcovers that had records of " proven sales," which made it more difficult for first-time authors, "genre" authors, and authors traditionally underserved by the industry (writers of color, queer and trans writers, writers with disabilities, etc.) to discover.

Northington says it best:

"If the only hardcovers you can find at your local department store are also the ones that make the best-seller list, which are also the ones that get marketing dollars, which are also the ones that algorithms suggest to you online, So the chances of, say, a first-time author from a marginalized community having their book in front of you long enough for you to look at it and consider buying it is lower than ever."

Some argue that this is okay because B&N will still sell a more varied selection of paperbacks; these rules only apply to hardcover releases. But how can you get a paperback copy if your hardcover doesn't sell? And how can you sell your hardcover book if a bookstore won't sell it unless you can prove they will in advance?

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Barnes & Noble tries to capture the wonder of wandering through your local independent bookstore while narrowing down how much you can discover. He wants you to think it's as personal and local as your independent bookstore would be, as he shows you the same five books you've already seen scattered all over BookTok. They will continue to get the money from the best seller while convincing people that they are in a local community.

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they recentlythey changed their membership modeland in the process they quietly completed their teaching program. This gave teachers a 20% discount on books, toys and games for the classroom. When they canceled the program, they suggested that these teachers simply sign up for their new membership program, which costs $40 a year and offers a 10% discount.

The implication is obvious. Barnes & Noble is trying to improve its results. Which is fine: a bookstore is a business, and a chain needs to make money to keep the stores open. What I don't like is that they quietly prioritize profit in ways that hurt the goals of the literary community while furthering this vision of Barnes & Noble as your local independent that supports its community and is a paradise for the readers. They dress up in the costumes and language of a beautiful, independent neighborhood bookstore, but their internal mechanics are still quite a chain. They try to hide their profit-driven corporate decisions behind more well-lit curtains.

I recently stopped by my local Barnes & Noble, moving around and changing as is. Despite all its changes, it somehow felt colder than the slightly weathered old wood and green rugs. The science fiction and fantasy section had the most popular authors and nothing I hadn't heard of was on the display tables. There were two giant shelves filled with books and merchandise from a 2000s fantasy series in the YA section. It was surprisingly difficult to find anything.

In recent years I have made sure to buy something at my local store to keep it going. After all, it was my local bookstore and I wanted it to stay. Now there is no need for it. Even if I could find something I wanted (which I actually struggled to do), I save my money for my local Chicago indies.

I feel again that supporting Barnes & Noble is no different than supporting the silly brick and mortar Amazon Books. It's a lovely store to browse if you're not looking for something new to read. It's a local bookstore with no substance - no dedication to the community, no depth in book selection, discovery based only on bestseller lists. Some people don't have the choice of where to search, and I was one of them as a kid. I'm glad I grew up in the era of a different kind of Barnes & Noble, and I'm disappointed in what they're becoming.

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To learn more about the new Barnes & Noble, check out recent storiesfrom Jenn Northington on chain changes, yfrom Kelly Jensen on reviewing the membership program.


What is the future of Barnes and Noble? ›

After years on the brink of extinction, the book chain is planning to open some 30 new stores this year. Many are returning the retailer to areas it previously abandoned. In a few, Barnes & Noble is even taking over former Amazon bookshops.

Is Barnes and Noble making a comeback? ›

Barnes and Noble is making a comeback. In recent years, more and more companies have been shuttering their brick-and-mortar stores. That trend has been especially true for bookstores which have struggled to compete with Amazon.

What happened with Barnes and Noble's? ›

By 2018, 400 branches nationwide had closed and thousands of employees had been laid off. Elliott Investment Management, the New York hedge fund that owns Waterstones, acquired Barnes & Noble in 2019 for $683m, along with the debt the company had accumulated over the years.

Did Barnes and Noble's go out of business? ›

Barnes & Noble ended 2022 with some surprising news: After more than a decade of shuttering locations, the chain plans to debut 30 new stores this year. “We've now got both the profitability and the confidence to start opening up stores again,” CEO James Daunt told The Wall Street Journal.

Who is Barnes and Noble's biggest competitor? ›

Barnes & Noble main competitors are Costco Wholesale, Teavana, and Gap Inc. Competitor Summary. See how Barnes & Noble compares to its main competitors: Walmart has the most employees (2,300,000).

How long will Barnes and Noble hold a book for? ›

We will hold your order at your selected store for 5 days. Items that are not picked up will be canceled and the payment method you provided at the time of the order will not be billed.

What Barnes and Noble competitor is out of business? ›

Borders Group

Who is buying Barnes and Noble? ›

After years of closures and declining revenues, Barnes & Noble was bought out by activist investors in 2019, who installed Daunt as CEO, and he's managed to turn things around by doing two main things.

What is the outlook for Barnes and Noble stock? ›

Barnes & Noble Education Inc (NYSE:BNED)

The 2 analysts offering 12-month price forecasts for Barnes & Noble Education Inc have a median target of 4.00, with a high estimate of 4.00 and a low estimate of 4.00. The median estimate represents a +160.59% increase from the last price of 1.54.

Is Barnes and Noble changing their name? ›

Taking a cue from Waterstones, the U.K. bookstore chain that dropped the apostrophe from its name for "practical" reasons two years ago, Barnes & Noble has officially changed its corporate name to Barnes & Nobles, adding the "s" primarily in reaction to "common usage" among the vast majority of its patrons.

Where is the largest Barnes and Noble? ›

The largest individual bookstore in the world measured by square footage is the Barnes Noble Bookstore at 105 Fifth Ave at 18th Street, New York City, USA.

Does Barnes and Noble's have crime and punishment? ›

Crime and Punishment, by Fyodor Dostoevsky, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras.

What does Barnes and Noble do with unsold books? ›

When sales slow down too much, the publisher will usually liquidate any unsold copies by massively reducing the price. If the books still don't sell, the remainders are usually destroyed through a process called 'pulping'.

What is the oldest Barnes and Noble store? ›

Barnes & Noble began in 1873 when Charles Barnes opened a book-printing business in Wheaton, Illinois. Their first true bookstore was set up by his son, William, with G. Clifford Noble, in 1917 in New York City. The original bookstore was at 31 West 15th St., and opened during World War I.

Does anyone own Barnes and Noble? ›

The Noble family retained ownership of an associated publishing business, and Barnes & Noble opened a new publishing division in 1931.

What does Barnes and Noble sell the most? ›

Bestsellers by Subject
  • Biography.
  • Cookbooks, Food & Wine.
  • Current Affairs & Politics.
  • Diet, Health & Fitness.
  • Graphic Novels & Comics.
  • Mystery & Crime.
  • Romance.
  • Science Fiction & Fantasy.

Why are books cheaper online Barnes and Noble? ›

Barnes & Noble usually is able to fill your order from our website with less expense than our full-service retail stores, and we pass those savings on to our online customers. This is why our prices online sometimes are lower than you will find in your local Barnes & Noble store.

Is Barnes and Noble competitive? ›

Barnes & Noble competitors include Chegg, Amazon, McGraw Hill and Mazedon. Barnes & Noble ranks 1st in Customer Net Promoter Score on Comparably vs its competitors.

Can you read a book in Barnes and Noble without buying it? ›

Read In Store allows you to browse and sample the complete contents of many eBooks for free in our stores for up to one hour per day, per title. To use Read in Store, visit your favorite Barnes & Noble retail store with your device.

Can I sell my books to Barnes and Noble? ›

Once we receive your book, we'll send you a check for your total sale if it is in an acceptable condition. You must have at least $10.00 worth of books to sell in order to participate. A price quote is based on expected future demand for the book and current stock availability.

Where does Barnes and Noble get their books? ›

Our buyers review publishers' catalogues, marketing materials and galleys or sample copies to help make their decisions. Most of these books are added to our book database and a small order is placed for our warehouse. This makes the title available for sale on our website and for order through our stores.

What is Barnes and Noble's competitive advantage? ›

Additionally, Barnes & Noble has gained a competitive advantage on their brick-and-mortar competitors through the use of chaining. Chaining has allowed Barnes & Noble to build a national brand, especially in the U.S. where people move and travel frequently.

Does Microsoft own Barnes and Noble? ›

Since then, Microsoft's investment has withered along with the Nook business. On Thursday, the two companies parted ways, with Barnes & Noble buying out Microsoft for about $120 million.

Who is Barnes Group competitor? ›

Barnes Group's competitors and similar companies include TriMas, NORDAM, HEICO Aerospace Holdings and Alsalam.

Will Barnes and Noble stock go up? ›

Average Price Target

Based on 2 Wall Street analysts offering 12 month price targets for Barnes & Noble Education in the last 3 months. The average price target is $4.00 with a high forecast of $4.00 and a low forecast of $4.00.

Will Barnes and Noble honor Amazon price? ›

Barnes & Noble offers very competitive pricing on many items, resulting in the best value for our customers. However, we do not honor requests to match the prices of our competitors for individual products. If you've already placed an order, we are unable to adjust the price of your order.

How much money is Barnes and Noble's worth? ›

How much a company is worth is typically represented by its market capitalization, or the current stock price multiplied by the number of shares outstanding. Barnes & Noble Education net worth as of May 12, 2023 is $0.08B.

Is BNED a good stock to buy? ›

Barnes & Noble Education has received a consensus rating of Buy. The company's average rating score is 3.00, and is based on 1 buy rating, no hold ratings, and no sell ratings.

Is Noble a good stock to buy? ›

Noble Corporation PLC Class A's analyst rating consensus is a Strong Buy. This is based on the ratings of 3 Wall Streets Analysts.

Is Barnes Group a good stock to buy? ›

If you are looking for a stock that has a solid history of beating earnings estimates and is in a good position to maintain the trend in its next quarterly report, you should consider Barnes Group (B).

Why did Barnes and Noble change their bags? ›

More interestingly, the new bags are explicitly designed to target Amazon's hegemony: B&N has decided to use its shopping bags to emphasize something doesn't offer: bookstores that offer handsome plastic bags.

How many employees does Barnes and Noble have? ›

We do not currently operate outside of the United States. How many people work for Barnes & Noble Inc.? As of 2022, the Company has approximately 900 employees working out of our Home Office and 19,000 employees working in our stores. Do you franchise stores?

Is Barnes and Noble a Fortune 500 company? ›

In Brief. Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS) is a Fortune 500 company, the nation's largest retail bookseller and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products.

Who is the largest book seller in the world? ›

Powell's City of Books is the largest used and new bookstore in the world, housing approximately one million books. Powell's Books revenue is $45.0M as of 2021. Powell's Books has 500 employees, revenue per employee is $90,000. As of 2021 Books-A-Million revenue is $474.1M annually.

What is the largest used book store in the US? ›

About Powell's City of Books

Powell's City of Books is the largest used and new bookstore in the world, occupying an entire city block and housing approximately one million books.

Who sells the most books in the US? ›

Amazon is the largest book retailer in the world with a catalog that includes more than 33 million titles, and they will ship them just about anywhere.

Can a 12 year old read Crime and Punishment? ›

Sure. Going through the Cliff's Notes will help the young reader keep the characters straight, and help with overall comprehension. But the novel is a magnificent work of fiction and I encourage anyone to read it.

What does the book Crime and Punishment teach us? ›

Alienation is the primary theme of Crime and Punishment. At first, Raskolnikov's pride separates him from society. He sees himself as superior to all other people and so cannot relate to anyone. Within his personal philosophy, he sees other people as tools and uses them for his own ends.

How long does it take to read Crime and Punishment? ›

The average reader will spend 9 hours and 11 minutes reading this book at 250 WPM (words per minute).

Do Barnes and Noble employees get a discount? ›

Employer Summary

Barnes & Noble employees receive discounts on non-sale items. This includes 30% off books and 20% off music and DVDs.

How many books get thrown away? ›

According to research, around 320 million books end up in landfill sites every year.

How many Barnes & Noble locations are left? ›

Barnes & Noble is the world's largest retail bookseller and a leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The Company operates approximately 600 Barnes & Noble bookstores across the United States, and one of the Web's premier e-commerce sites,

What is the oldest book store in America? ›

Oldest in the Country

Founded in 1745, the Moravian Book Shop is located in the heart of historic Bethlehem, Pennsylvania and is the oldest continuously operating bookstore in the country.

What is the oldest book in existence? ›

A Buddhist holy text, the Diamond Sūtra is considered to be the oldest surviving dated printed book in the world. Found in a walled up cave in China along with other printed materials, the book is made up of Chinese characters printed on a scroll of grey printed paper, wrapped along a wooden pole.

Is Barnes and Noble going to survive? ›

Barnes & Noble ended 2022 with some surprising news: After more than a decade of shuttering locations, the chain plans to debut 30 new stores this year. “We've now got both the profitability and the confidence to start opening up stores again,” CEO James Daunt told The Wall Street Journal.

What happen to Barnes and Noble? ›

In the summer of 2019, Barnes & Noble was bought by the hedge fund Elliott Management for $683 million, almost half again what stock market investors thought it was worth. Upon taking over, Elliott installed James Daunt as Barnes & Noble CEO.

Is Barnes and Noble opening 30 stores in 2023? ›

Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt confirmed that the chain plans to open 30 new locations in 2023 in its first expansion since 2009 while speaking with CNBC Wednesday (April 5). “I think we've got much better bookstores in place,” Daunt said.

Is Barnes and Noble cheaper online or in store? ›

Barnes & Noble usually is able to fill your order from our website with less expense than our full-service retail stores, and we pass those savings on to our online customers. This is why our prices online sometimes are lower than you will find in your local Barnes & Noble store.

What is the biggest Barnes and Noble in the US? ›

The biggest Barnes & Noble in the U.S. is the chain's Union Square store in New York City.


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