Barnes & Noble under new ownership
In some sad but exciting news, Barnes & Noble has been acquired by hedge fund Elliott Advisors for $638 million. It’s a move that has momentarily calmed fears among publishers and agents as it was feared that the largest bookstore chain in the United States might. Prior to the sale, there was much speculation about the future of Barnes & Noble and whether or not the chain would survive in a world that is rapidly moving towards paperless e-books and computers.
The acquisition comes after Elliott’s purchase of British bookstore chain Waterstones in June 2018. James Daunt, the chief executive of Waterstones, will act as Barnes & Noble’s C.E.O. and will be based in New York.
Barnes & Noble was once a giant in its heyday, evolving from its a single Manhattan bookstore in 1971. However, the book store chain has often come under fire for being a greedy corporate giant that slashed book prices so low to the point that competitors and independent booksellers could not keep up and were forced out of business.
However, one Amazon and online sales started to rise, Barnes & Noble began to struggle to make a profit. The giant was forced to more than 150 stores in the last decade, leaving it with just 627 stores nationwide.