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About Barnes & Noble, Inc.

Barnes & Noble does business by the book and the NOOK. As one of the largest bookstore chains in the US, it operates over 620 Barnes & Noble superstores, in all 50 states and Washington, DC. Stores range in size of stock between 19,000 and 133,000 book titles. It also sells books and other media online. The company's digital subsidiary, NOOK Media, develops, supports, and creates digital content and products for the digital reading and digital education markets. The struggling company has been restructuring for several years, having spun off its education division, among other initiatives. In 2019, Barnes & Noble was acquired by private equity firm Elliott Management.

Change in Company Type

In mid-2019, private equity firm Elliott Management bought Barnes & Noble for about $683 million, including debt. The struggling bookseller had been exploring a possible sale since 2018 as one option to turn the company around. It has been hit hard by competition from Amazon, which owns nearly half the market for new book sales.

Under Elliott's control, newly private Barnes & Noble will have greater flexibility to restructure and make needed investments.


The Company's two operating segments are B&N Retail and NOOK.

The B&N retail segment includes almost 630 bookstores offering comprehensive trade book title base, a café, departments dedicated to Kids and Young Adults, Toys & Games, DVDs, Music & Vinyl, Gift, Magazine and Bargain products. This segment includes the Company's e-Commerce website,, and its publishing operation, Sterling Publishing. This segment accounts for around 95% of the company's total sales in 2019.

NOOK represents the Company's digital business, including the development and support of the Company's NOOK® product offerings. The digital business includes digital content such as eBooks, digital newsstand and sales of NOOK® devices and accessories to B&N Retail. It accounts for about 5% of B&N sales.

Geographic Reach

New York-based Barnes & Noble owns two distribution centers, one in Monroe Township, New Jersey, and another in Reno, Nevada.

Its bookstores are scattered all over the United States.

Sales and Marketing

Barnes & Noble distributes its own books, which enables direct purchasing by vendors rather than wholesalers. Using the Company's own distribution centers rather than wholesalers lowers distribution costs per unit, increases inventory turns, and improves product margins.

Additionally, the Company believes its reinvigorated marketing efforts, which include improved email campaigns and new advertising campaigns, can help improve store traffic trends.

Financial Performance

For the past five years, B&N's revenue growth showed a downward trend. Net income for the same period also fluctuated.

In fiscal 2019, the company reported revenue of $3.6 billion, down 3% from the prior year. Sales for both the Retail and NOOK segments declined.

The company eeked out a profit of $3.8 million that year, a significant improvement from the $125.5 million loss in fiscal 2018.

Cash at the end of fiscal 2019 was $9.4 million, a decline of $1.3 million from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $106 million to the coffers, while investing activities used $113.7 million, mainly for capital expenditures. Financing activities added $6.4 million as a result of proceeds from credit.


To improve its performance, the Company's strategic plan is focused on strengthening its core business by enhancing its customer value proposition; improving profitability through an aggressive expense management program, which will be redeployed to fund growth initiatives; and innovating for the future, which will position the Company for long-term growth.

To strengthen its core business, the Company is focused on enhancing its customer value proposition by improving its merchandise offerings, enriching the overall shopping experience, increasing the value of its Membership Program and expanding its omni-channel capabilities. The Company will continue to leverage the strength of its Barnes & Noble brand, knowledgeable booksellers, vast book selection, omni-channel offering (free Wi-Fi connectivity for NOOK customers) and retail footprint to attract customers and grow sales.

Company Background

Barnes & Noble dates back to 1873 when Charles Barnes went into the used-book business in Wheaton, Illinois.

After growing organically and through acquisitions and changing hands several times, Barnes & Noble -- by then a booming book superstore chain -- went public in 1993. 

In 2019, after years of struggle brought on by online book giant Amazon and other retail headwinds, Barnes & Noble was purchased by private equity firm Elliott Management.


Barnes & Noble, Inc.

33 E 17th St FL 5
New York, NY 10003-2005
Phone: 1 (212) 633-3300

Firm Stats

Employer Type: Publicly Owned
CFO: Allen W. Lindstrom
CEO and Director: Demos Parneros
Chairman: Leonard S. Riggio
Employees (This Location): 400
Employees (All Locations): 24,000

Major Office Locations

New York, NY

Other Locations

Anchorage, AK
Fairbanks, AK
Dothan, AL
Hoover, AL
Huntsville, AL
Spanish Fort, AL
Tuscaloosa, AL
Vestavia, AL
Fayetteville, AR
Jonesboro, AR
Little Rock, AR
North Little Rock, AR
Rogers, AR
Chandler, AZ
Flagstaff, AZ
Gilbert, AZ
Goodyear, AZ
Mesa, AZ
Peoria, AZ
Phoenix, AZ
Scottsdale, AZ
Surprise, AZ
Tempe, AZ
Tucson, AZ
Yuma, AZ
Aliso Viejo, CA
Antioch, CA
Bakersfield, CA
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Dublin, CA
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