As of August 7th 2019, Barnes and Nobles has officially been sold. The chain has been acquired by Elliot Advisors Limited in an almost $7 million merger. Despite being the US’s #1 bookseller, Barnes and Noble has had a rough few years. Online retailers such as Amazon offer fierce competition given their cheaper prices. This has caused the brick and mortar bookstore chain to suffer. But with Barnes and Noble being sold, what does this mean for the chain?
Elliot Advisors is now the owner of Barnes and Noble. James Daunt, the newest CEO of Barnes and Noble is also the CEO of Waterstones, the UK’s largest bookseller. Elliot also owns Waterstones. Not too long ago, Waterstones suffered the same fate as Barnes and Noble, but James Daunt managed to turn their sales around. Elliot and Daunt are hopeful that they can do the same thing for Barnes and Noble.
Elliot plans to use the same business strategies that Daunt employed in the UK in order to help Barnes and Noble. Through these proposed tactics, Elliot and Daunt hope to revamp Barnes and Noble to feel more like a “real” bookstore. Inventory will be curated towards the local community and more reader and author events hope to be held at stores. Daunt wants to focus more on Barnes and Noble being about the reader rather than the consumer: a book should be seen as an experience rather than a commodity. Daunt believes that these small, personal touches, which often are the charm of the independent bookshop, will help to create a better atmosphere within Barnes and Noble and drive up sales.
If you want to read more about the sale of Barnes and Noble, check out Michael Kozlowski’s article here. For more about James Daunt’s strategy, check out this article by Sarah Todd.