The Sad Decline of Barnes & Noble | The American ConservativeThe bookstore has been on a downward slide for years. Back then, there was something nostalgic yet stately about the bookstore. It seemed like a gem of grace and sophistication, a place not just to browse but to learn. I remember distinctive elements that still set the store apart in my mind: the hunter-green wallpaper, the woodcut and art deco feel of its literary decorations, the old-fashioned chairs and quiet corners suggesting a respect and reverence for the old and the classic. I would grab a stack of five or six books and read the first chapter of each one before deciding which I wanted to buy.
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Fast-forward to today. Since the rise of Amazon which, of course, began as a bookstore , Barnes and Noble has suffered dramatically.
Slumping sales, closing stores, and a big swing and a miss on digital have hurt the book chain. The company is taking measures to bring people into stores. It launched new concept stores with restaurants that serve avocado toast, kale salad and wine among other things. It hosts in-store readings and community events. But it's going to have to do some work to turn things around. The company may plan on making some of these changes. In its annual report for , the company said it is hopeful that "improving navigation and discovery throughout the store, including a customer friendly and more intuitive organization of books and improved signage for easier browsing," will help sales.
But appearances can be deceptive. Perhaps this is what it means to be a bricks-and-mortar retailer in Not so much. Once the dominant player in US book retailing , the chain, which ironically in its time put countless private, neighborhood booksellers out of business, is suffering as the new big beast, Amazon , swallows its business. Sales have been on the slide for 11 years; even online sales have fallen.