Interesting news from the New York Times…
In what might be the latest sign of trouble for brick-and-mortar bookstores, the mega-chain Barnes & Noble announced on Tuesday that its board was putting the company up for sale.
The news surprised analysts and alarmed publishers, who have watched as the book business has increasingly shifted to online retailers and e-book sales, leaving both chains and independent sellers struggling….
For years, Barnes & Noble has been battered by large shifts in the publishing industry and the retail environment. Book sales have moved toward big-box stores like Costco, Wal-Mart and Target, and away from mall-based stores like B. Dalton, which Barnes & Noble acquired in the late 1980s….
One analyst said that consumers had been moving away from physical bookstores in favor of buying books online or at other retail outlets. â€œThey might pick up a book when theyâ€™re buying hand sanitizer or Band-Aids, rather than actually seeking out a bookstore as a destination and then buying a book at that point,â€ said Michael Norris, senior analyst at Simba Information, which provides research and advice to publishers. â€œA lot of independents are figuring it out one bookstore at a time, and thatâ€™s what the Barnes & Nobles of the world have to do.â€