News that Barnes & Noble is considering a big sale -- the entire company -- shouldn't come as a surprise.
The publishing industry has been in turmoil due to the phenomenal growth of e-readers such Amazon's Kindle -- and if folks are buying digital books, that hurts brick-and-mortar retailers in a big way. Barnes & Noble has tried to capture a piece of the e-book market with its nook device, but it's battling a crowded field of competitors, including the Kindle and Apple's iPad. Meanwhile, warehouse stores and all-purpose retailers such as Walmart are selling more and more books these days. All of that brings mounting pressure on B&N. (And publishers. I wouldn't be surprised to see a series of mergers and other corporate changes in the publishing world over the next few years.)
I hope the company can find a way out of its financial miseries, because I find B&N stores attractive and appealling. I love the formula that combines cafes with the books and other merchandise, enlivening the whole store. It's a much more satisfying experience than dropping a book into a shopping cart along with dog food and diapers.