The Incredible Shrinking Barnes & Noble

Big box bookstores such as Barnes & Noble were once considered a major threat to the health of the book-selling industry, offering discounts, massive selections and lattes that independent bookstores could not. Now things have changed: Barnes & Noble is the last national bookstore chain standing, and it’s getting smaller … and smaller … and smaller.

In 2008, Barnes & Noble had 726 stores. It currently has 689 stores and in 10 years, it plans to have just 450 to 500.

via Barnes & Noble is getting smaller – latimes.com.

Something else that I’m taken aback by. Not that it’s happening but that someone thinks this is news.

If there is news here, it’s that B&N expects to have 450 to 500 stores in 10 years. That’s chutzpah. (Chutzpah, in this case, being Yiddish for deluded.)

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2 thoughts on “The Incredible Shrinking Barnes & Noble

  1. I think people will probably always want a place to buy real, hard books. I don’t see them vanishing any time soon. That said, electronics have certainly damaged the brick and mortar book selling industry. There will probably be an equilibrium, and Barnes and Noble seems to understand the relationship between sales and innovation. The Nook saved them, while Borders went under for not seeing far enough ahead into the future. It’s a dangerous game, but I have hope they’ll be around for quite some time.

    • I agree. I actually hope they don’t disappear, but I do think it’s unrealistic for B&N to put a number on how many stores may be here in 10 years. If I was trying to be their futurist, I certainly wouldn’t want to place any bets on a market further out than five years.

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