Barnes & Noble, Inc. Business Information, Profile, and History
New York, New York 10011-5605
Our mission is to operate the best specialty retail business in Ameri ca, regardless of the product we sell. Because the product we sell is books, our aspirations must be consistent with the promise and the i deals of the volumes which line our shelves. To say that our mission exists independent of the product we sell is to demean the importance and the distinction of being booksellers.
As booksellers we are determined to be the very best in our business, regardless of the size, pedigree or inclinations of our competitors. We will continue to bring our industry nuances of style and approach es to bookselling which are consistent with our evolving aspirations.
Above all, we expect to be a credit to the communities we serve, a va luable resource to our customers, and a place where our dedicated boo ksellers can grow and prosper. Toward this end we will not only liste n to our customers and booksellers but embrace the idea that the Comp any is at their service.
History of Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. operates the largest chain of bookstores in the United States. The company revolutionized bookselling by introduc ing giant, supermarket-style stores with deeply discounted books in t he 1970s, and by the early 2000s it operated more than 660 such super stores across the country. Barnes & Noble is also a leading opera tor of mall bookstores, running the well-known B. Dalton chain, and D oubleday, Bookstop, and Bookstar stores. The company also operates on e of the top online bookselling operations, barnesandnoble.com, and i s itself a rapidly growing book publisher. In addition to reissuing a ffordable editions of out-of-print titles under the Barnes & Nobl e Classics imprint, the company owns Sterling Publishing Co., Inc., o ne of the top 25 book publishers in the United States and the nation' s largest publisher of how-to books.
The Barnes family's history in the book business started in 1873, whe n Charles Montgomery Barnes went into the second-hand book business i n Wheaton, Illinois. Barnes soon moved to Chicago, selling new and us ed books. By 1894 Barnes's firm, reorganized as C.M. Barnes Company, dealt exclusively in school books. In 1902 C.M. Barnes's son, William R. Barnes, became president of the firm, and he continued the busine ss in partnership with several other men. The younger Barnes sold his interest in his father's company in 1917, when he moved to New York. In New York, he acquired an interest in the educational bookstore No ble & Noble, partnering with G. Clifford Noble. The bookstore was soon renamed Barnes & Noble. Though Mr. Noble withdrew from the business in 1929, the name Barnes & Noble stuck.
The company's early business was wholesaling, selling mainly to schoo ls, colleges, libraries, and dealers. Barnes & Noble entered the retail textbook trade somewhat reluctantly. A report in College St ore magazine recounted that single book customers were tolerated, but that the store's counters and display shelves functioned as barr icades against their encroachment. Eventually the store took a buildi ng on Fifth Avenue that included a small retail space. The public the n "launched a campaign of book buying that soon banished all doubt as to the need for a general retail textbook house in New York." In 193 2 Barnes & Noble opened a large retail store on Fifth Avenue and 18th Street, and this became the company's flagship. The quarters wer e enlarged and remodeled in 1941, and the store set the standard for college bookstores.
Barnes & Noble served the students of hundreds of New York City s chools and colleges, and the store had to operate at top efficiency t o accommodate the rush for textbooks at the beginning of each semeste r. In 1941 the store instituted a "book-a-teria" service that was soo n picked up by other college bookstores. A clerk handed the customer a sales slip as he entered the store. Purchases were recorded on the slip by one clerk, money taken by another, and wrapping and bagging d one by another. Barnes & Noble installed a telephone service that was quite advanced for the time, with five lines manned by specially trained staff. The New York store was also a pioneer in the use of " Music by Muzak," with the piped-in music interrupted at 12-minute int ervals by announcements and advertising. Staff during the textbook ru sh season sometimes numbered over 300, and the store boasted a stock of two million books.
The successful retail division continued alongside Barnes & Noble 's original business of wholesaling to schools and libraries. The com pany also ran an import and an export division, an out-of-print book service, and published several series of nonfiction books, including the College Outline Series of study guides. In 1944 Barnes &am p; Noble began putting out children's educational books after it took over the publishing firm Hinds, Hayden & Eldredge. The company a lso opened branches in Brooklyn and Chicago, and managed an outlet fo r used books and publishers' remainders called the Economy Book Store .
Barnes & Noble operated on a grand scale from the 1940s onward. I ts wholesale textbook division bought used books from around 200 camp us bookstores all across the East and Midwest. The flagship retail st ore earned a place in the Guinness Book of World Records in 19 72 as "the World's Largest Bookstore," and Barnes & Noble also cl aimed this store did the largest dollar volume of any retail bookstor e in the country.
But Barnes & Noble began to grow in more ways when it came under the sway of a new young owner, Leonard Riggio. Riggio began his stell ar career in the book business at age 18, when he was a poorly paid c lerk at the New York University (NYU) bookstore. Riggio initially stu died engineering at night at the university, and in some sense he was unprepared for working with books. He recalled being embarrassed by a customer who asked for a copy of Moby Dick--Riggio had never heard of it. Nevertheless, he caught on to bookselling like no one e lse. In 1965, when he was only 24, Riggio borrowed $5,000 to open his own college bookstore, the Waverly Book Exchange. Though his sto re was only one-eighth the size of the official NYU bookstore, he soo n rivaled his old employer's sales. He offered exceptional service to his student customers, airlifting textbooks to the store if necessar y. The success of the Waverly Book Exchange allowed Riggio to buy or open ten more college bookstores over the next several years.
Arrival of Riggio: 1971
When Leonard Riggio set his sights on Barnes & Noble, the venerab le bookstore was in a slump. President John Barnes, grandson of the f ounder, had died in 1969, and the retail and wholesale divisions of t he company were purchased by a conglomerate called Amtel, Inc., which made toys, tools, and various other products. Business declined unde r the new management, and Amtel decided to sell. In 1971 Leonard Rigg io purchased Barnes & Noble from Amtel for $750,000. He quick ly changed the names of his ten other bookstores to Barnes & Nobl e, and revitalized the old Fifth Avenue store.
The new owner made Barnes & Noble an educational bookstore with a broader focus that included all kinds of how-to and nonfiction books . Riggio believed that more people read books for information than fo r entertainment, and he changed the setup of the flagship store to gi ve customers easier access to books they might want. He organized the stock into new, more specific categories, for example dividing the t raditional category of philosophy into yoga and mysticism. Other sect ions of special interest books included cooking, Judaica, handyman bo oks, study aids, and dictionaries. Riggio also opened a special child ren's section in the Fifth Avenue store, which, like the adult sectio ns, emphasized educational books.
Under Leonard Riggio's management, Barnes & Noble expanded to inc lude stores in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. By 1976, the c ompany leased and operated 21 campus bookstores, and the combined ret ail and wholesale divisions brought in $32 million in sales. His early success led Riggio to gamble on a new kind of bookstore, the bo ok supermarket. Across the street from the old Fifth Avenue Barnes &a mp; Noble, Riggio opened a giant sales annex that sprawled over three buildings. All books at the annex were discounted between 40 and 90 percent, even new books and bestsellers. Shoppers spent hours piling bargains into shopping carts, as Riggio explained to Publishers We ekly that he had "set the customer free in an unintimidating atmo sphere to roam over a vast space." The prairie-like annex included fi ction, textbooks, children's books, reference books, art books, and g ift books. Corners were devoted to books on special topics ranging fr om Latin America to transportation, and huge black and yellow signs d irecting customers to different categories could be read from 176 fee t away. Riggio claimed that most of Barnes & Noble's customers di d not intend to read the books they bought, and the casual, warehouse atmosphere of the sales annex was geared to the everyday shopper, no t the scholar or bibliophile. It was a marketing technique that worke d brilliantly.
Barnes & Noble's thriving sales encouraged the company to grow an d innovate. In 1979 Barnes & Noble acquired a chain of retail sto res called Bookmasters, and then bought Marboro Books, Inc., a remain der company with discount retail outlets. Barnes & Noble operated a chain of Supermart Books that serviced drugstore and supermarket b ook departments, and ran the Missouri Book Co., selling used college textbooks. Barnes & Noble also more than tripled its college stor e leases in the mid-1980s, increasing from 40 in 1983 to 142 in 1986.
B. Dalton Acquisition: 1986
Total sales grew to about $225 million in 1985, and the next year Barnes & Noble made a major acquisition. For a price estimated a t around $300 million, Barnes & Noble bought B. Dalton Bookse ller, a bookstore chain with 798 outlets, from Dayton Hudson Corporat ion. B. Dalton was the second biggest chain bookstore, behind Waldenb ooks, and its sales were estimated at $538 million in 1985. The a cquisition put Barnes & Noble in the second place spot, and the c ompany continued to acquire chains. In March 1990 Barnes & Noble purchased an upscale chain of 40 bookstores, Doubleday Book Shops, fo r an estimated $20 million. A few months later, the company becam e sole owner of a Texas and Florida chain of discount bookstores call ed Bookstop.
Barnes & Noble had used the name BDB Corp. for the holding compan y that owned Barnes & Noble, Inc., B. Dalton, and its other busin esses. Leonard Riggio was the majority owner, and had a financial par tner in a Dutch conglomerate called Vendex. The name of the holding c ompany changed back to Barnes & Noble, Inc. in 1991, and the comp any reacquired rights to publish under the Barnes & Noble name. T hese rights had been sold after John Barnes died in 1969.
Opening of Numerous Superstores: Early 1990s
Barnes & Noble, Inc. had grown enormously in the 1980s through ac quisitions. The company embarked on a new growth strategy in the 1990 s, opening new "superstores" at a breathtaking pace. The superstores differed somewhat from the earlier Fifth Avenue "book supermarket" Ba rnes & Noble sales annex. The superstores were large, carrying as many as 150,000 titles, or six times the size of a typical mall book store, but they had amenities such as coffee bars and children's play areas, and were designed to be pleasant public spaces where people w ould browse, read, and mingle. Wide aisles and scattered chairs and b enches encouraged customers to linger, and local managers had the aut onomy to arrange poetry readings and puppet shows. The discounted (us ually by 10 to 40 percent) superstore stock was vast, yet the space w as as posh and inviting as that of many independent bookstores. Barne s & Noble operated 23 superstores in 1989. Three years later ther e were 105, and the company intended to open 100 more each year throu gh 1994. On one day in August 1992, Barnes & Noble opened five su perstores, and two months later opened three more.
The superstores cost more than $1 million apiece to build, outfit , and stock, and Barnes & Noble lost money by opening so many so quickly. Though sales for 1991 were more than $892 million, Barne s & Noble, Inc. posted a loss of close to $8 million that yea r. But overall sales continued to rise, and the superstores contribut ed some impressive revenues. Eighty percent of new superstores contri buted to company profits in their first year of operation. A Barnes & amp; Noble superstore on the Upper West Side in Manhattan was expecte d to bring in $12 million in sales its first year, but it proved so popular with New Yorkers that it actually brought in between $ 16 million and $18 million. The average superstore commanded a mu ch more modest $3.5 million. The superstores generated on the ave rage twice the sales of mall bookstores, and in 1992 superstore sales rose by 114 percent.
Other booksellers complained about Barnes & Noble's rapid growth, believing that the market could not hold so many bookstores. But Leo nard Riggio went on the record repeatedly to dispel claims that his g rowing chain was predatory. The amount Americans spent on books rose a hefty 12.5 percent in 1992, and Riggio believed the market would co ntinue to grow. But the expansion of Barnes & Noble prompted comp etitive chains to build more stores, too. Waldenbooks planned to more than double the size of its mall stores, from 3,000 to between 6,000 and 8,000 square feet. Borders Inc., a chain of superstores then own ed by Kmart Corporation, planned to open two new stores a month in 19 93.
Going Public: 1993
With its growth so enormous and debt so high, Barnes & Noble, Inc . decided to raise cash by selling its stock to the public. An initia l stock offering in 1992 was postponed because of adverse market cond itions. Wall Street analysts had been skeptical of the company's abil ity to sustain its profits, but a year after the first offering was w ithdrawn, superstore sales had continued to climb. These sales accoun ted for almost half the company's total revenue, up from 26 percent i n 1992, and the company seemed more solid. Barnes & Noble stock b egan trading on the New York Stock Exchange on September 28, 1993, an d demand was so high that brokers were unable to purchase as much as they wanted. The stock had been expected to sell for around $17 a share: it closed at $29.25 its first day. Leonard Riggio retaine d about a third of Barnes & Noble, Inc., and another third was co ntrolled by his Dutch partner Vendex.
For the fiscal year ending in January 1994, Barnes & Noble report ed an 87 percent gain in revenue at its superstores. The textbook are a of the company continued to be quite profitable too, and the compan y ran almost 300 college bookstores across the country. Children's bo oks also sold very well, and Riggio made plans to expand the square f ootage of the Barnes & Noble Jr. stores that were a part of the s uperstores. The growth of the Barnes & Noble chain under Leonard Riggio had been spectacular.
In spite of critics' fears that the company's rapid expansion would s aturate the book market or set off vicious wars for market share, Bar nes & Noble seemed able to keep abreast of what the public wanted in a bookstore, and supply just what was needed. The discount sales annex had been a radical step, eliminating the high-brow atmosphere l ong associated with bookstores. The superstores managed to combine th e savings and huge selection of the discount store with an environmen t tailored equally well to book lovers, socializers, and bargain hunt ers. In many ways Barnes & Noble set the standard for its competi tors from the early textbook store to the 1990s, by innovating in are as such as store design and marketing of software, and by its pioneer ing efforts such as providing books for children with disabilities, a nd offering a literary award to first-time novelists.
During the 1995 fiscal year, Barnes & Noble opened 97 additional superstores, bringing the total to 358. This growth increasingly led to declining sales for mall bookstores, including the company's own. Barnes & Noble had been closing between 50 and 60 B. Dalton store s per year since 1989, but in late 1995 decided to step up its mall c losings. The company took a charge of $123.8 million for a restru cturing program aimed at developing a core of more profitable mall bo okstores (the charge led to a $53 million net loss for the year). During 1995, 69 B. Dalton stores closed and another 72 were shuttere d the following year. At the same time, Barnes & Noble expanded t he size of many B. Dalton outlets and opened a small number of new, l arger B. Dalton stores each year, seeking to place them in locations that offered increased visibility and higher traffic flow. The new an d enlarged units performed better than their predecessors, but all ma ll bookstores continued to be hurt by competition from nearby superst ores. By 1998 Barnes & Noble operated more superstores than mall bookstores.
Entering Internet Bookselling: Late 1990s
In 1996 Barnes & Noble bought a 20 percent stake in Chapters Inc. , the largest book retailer in Canada, but sold it three years later. For the fiscal year ending in January 1997, revenues soared past the $2 billion mark, reaching $2.45 billion, an increase of more than 23 percent over the previous year. In early 1997 the company en tered the burgeoning market for Internet bookselling through a ventur e with America Online Inc. (AOL), whereby Barnes & Noble became t he exclusive bookseller for the more than eight million AOL subscribe rs. Later that year the company launched its bookselling web site, ba rnesandnoble.com. These moves came following the emergence of a new c ompetitive threat, namely Seattle-based Internet bookselling upstart Amazon.com, Inc., which had been founded in 1995 and had sales of 6;147.8 million by 1997, although it had yet to make a profit. The e- commerce battle between Amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com intensified in 1998 when German media behemoth Bertelsmann AG purchased 50 perce nt of Barnes & Noble's Internet operation for $200 million, a sizable capital fund for the nascent undertaking. For the fiscal yea r ending in January 1999, barnesandnoble.com saw its sales increase 3 81 percent, from $14.6 million to $70.2 million; it also deve loped an in-stock inventory of 750,000 titles ready for immediate del ivery, which the company claimed was the largest in the industry. It also boasted the world's largest overall selection, with more than ei ght million new, out-of-print, and rare books available for ordering. In May 1999 Barnes & Noble and Bertelsmann took barnesandnoble.c om public, selling 18 percent of the company and raising another $ ;421.6 million for its war chest. The Internet bookseller's joint ven ture partners retained equal 41 percent shares in barnesandnoble.com. In July 1999 barnesandnoble.com announced the launch of an online "m usic store," with heavy discounts of as much as 30 percent off retail prices. Here again, Barnes & Noble was following trailblazer Ama zon.com, which began selling music online a year earlier.
In March 1998 the American Booksellers Association joined with 26 ind ependent bookstores in suing Barnes & Noble and Borders. The suit claimed that the large chains had violated antitrust laws by using t heir buying power to demand from publishers "illegal and secret" disc ounts. Barnes & Noble said it would vigorously defend this and si milar actions that were subsequently brought against it. Antitrust co ncerns of a different nature scuttled Barnes & Noble's attempt to purchase Ingram Book Group Inc., the largest book wholesaler in the United States, a deal that was announced in November 1998. Barnes &am p; Noble was interested in Ingram for its system of 11 distribution c enters spread throughout the country. The acquisition of this system would have cut distribution costs and enabled Barnes & Noble to s peed delivery of books to its growing legion of online customers. The acquisition, however, drew strong opposition from independent bookse llers as well as from Amazon.com. Federal Trade Commission officials ended up siding with the opponents, and recommended in June 1999 that the agency oppose the deal, having concluded that it would stifle co mpetition in both online and offline book retailing. Barnes & Nob le soon withdrew its takeover bid rather than enter into protracted l itigation.
At the turn of the millennium, the biggest threat to Barnes & Nob le's position as the number one U.S. bookseller was clearly Amazon.co m, which in mid-1999 had a market value of $18 billion, more than three times the value of Barnes & Noble and barnesandnoble.com c ombined. In the Internet-crazed world of the late 1990s, the fact tha t Barnes & Noble held 15 percent of the total U.S. book market ve rsus Amazon's 2 percent mattered less than the companies' respective online bookselling shares: 15 percent for Barnes & Noble, 75 perc ent for Amazon. Part of Barnes & Noble's response to its upstart challenger was to slow its rapid rate of store expansion.
New Ventures in the Early 2000s
From 1999 to 2004 Barnes & Noble made a brief foray into the vide o game retailing sector. In October 1999 the company acquired Babbage 's Etc. LLC for $215 million. Babbage's, which at the time was op erating nearly 500 stores under the Babbage's, Software Etc., and Gam eStop names, had been owned since 1996 by an investor group led by Ri ggio. In June 2000 Barnes & Noble acquired Funco, Inc., operator of 400 FuncoLand video game stores. Eventually, all of these operatio ns were organized within a subsidiary called GameStop Corp., and a gr adual conversion of the stores to the GameStop name began. In Februar y 2002 Barnes & Noble sold one-third of GameStop's stock to the p ublic via an initial public offering, and in October 2004 its remaini ng GameStop shares were distributed to Barnes & Noble shareholder s. Although the company counted the foray into the video game as a su ccess, having turned a $400 million investment into more than 6;850 million, management eventually concluded that the values of Bar nes & Noble and GameStop would be enhanced by trading separately and not as a conglomerated entity.
During this period the shrinking of the B. Dalton chain continued apa ce, as the number of outlets fell from 400 in 1999 to just 154 at the end of 2004. Revenues from B. Dalton dropped from $426 million t o $176.5 million over this period, while revenues from the Barnes & Noble superstores were jumping from $2.82 billion to $ 4.12 billion. The number of superstores increased from 542 to 666. Du ring 2000 the company recorded a charge of $106.8 million, primar ily to write down the value of its B. Dalton assets. This led to a ne t loss for the year of $52 million.
In February 2002 Stephen Riggio, Leonard's younger brother, was named CEO of Barnes & Noble. Stephen Riggio had been with the company since 1975, serving as chief operating officer from February 1995 thr ough January 1997 and then as vice-chairman until his appointment as CEO. The company credited him with playing instrumental roles in Barn es & Noble's move into book publishing, its shift to the supersto re format, and its entry into electronic commerce. With the shift in leadership, Stephen Riggio assumed responsibility for the day-to-day operations of Barnes & Noble, while Leonard Riggio remained activ ely involved at the company as chairman of the board overseeing strat egic matters such as mergers and financings.
To the consternation of many publishers, Barnes & Noble moved mor e aggressively into book publishing starting in 2003. In January of t hat year the firm acquired Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. for $115 million. The closely held Sterling, based in Manhattan and founded i n 1949, was the nation's largest publisher of how-to books and ranked among the top 25 publishers overall. Sterling claimed a backlist (in ventory) of 4,500 titles, with its biggest sellers including The I llustrated Dream Dictionary and Biggest Riddle Book in the Wor ld. Barnes & Noble followed this purchase with the April 2003 launch of Barnes & Noble Classics, a new line of literary classi cs positioned to be lower-priced competition to such established line s as the Modern Library, produced by Bertelsmann's Random House, and Penguin Classics, issued by Pearson plc. Publishing was attractive to Barnes & Noble because the firm could book profits on both the p ublishing and selling of a particular book, and it provided the store s with exclusive products. Book publishing offered a way for the comp any to boost its profitability at a time when margins in book retaili ng were being squeezed by a sluggish economy, flat book sales, and gr owing competition from discounters such as Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. sell ing books as loss leaders. Barnes & Noble was aiming to increase the portion of revenue derived from sales of its own books to 10 perc ent by 2008 from the 4 percent level of 2003.
On the online side, Barnes & Noble in September 2003 bought out B ertelsmann's interest in barnesandnoble.com. The company paid Bertels mann $165.4 million to increase its stake in the venture to 75 pe rcent. Then the following May, Barnes & Noble took full control o f barnesandnoble.com, buying the publicly traded shares for an aggreg ate price of $158.8 million. The shareholders received about $ ;3 per share for a stock that had debuted at $18 a share during t he Internet bubble and briefly traded above $25 a share. The onli ne bookseller had yet to turn a profit, but its performance was stead ily improving, and in 2004 its net loss narrowed by 18 percent. Its r evenues of $419.8 million were nevertheless far below those of Am azon.com, which remained the clear leader with about 70 percent of th e online book market compared to Barnes & Noble's 20 percent.
For the fiscal year ending in January 2005 total sales amounted to 36;4.87 billion, with 85 percent coming from Barnes & Noble super stores. Despite continued softness in the book market, the superstore s managed to achieve a 3.1 percent increase in comparable store sales (that is, sales at stores open more than 15 months). An additional 3 2 superstores opened during the year, and the company planned to cont inue opening a similar number annually over the succeeding several ye ars, estimating that there was room for 300 to 400 more Barnes & Noble stores. In 2005 the opening of a new store in Morgantown, West Virginia, provided the chain with a presence in all 50 states. The co mpany's publishing program was another key component of future growth , and a line of children's classics was released in late 2004 followe d in 2005 by a series of abridged editions of children's classics, fo r kids with reading disabilities.
Principal Subsidiaries: Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Inc.; B. Dalton Bookseller, Inc.; Doubleday Book Shops, Inc.; B&N.com H olding Corp.; barnesandnoble.com inc.; barnesandnoble.com llc.; Barne s & Noble Publishing, Inc.; CCI Holdings, Inc.; Calendar Club L.L .C. (75%); Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.; Altamont Press, Inc.; M arketing Services (Minnesota) Corp.; Barnes & Noble Services, Inc .; Marboro Books Corp.; Chelsea Insurance Company LTD (Bermuda); Barn es & Noble BookQuest, LLC.
Principal Competitors: Borders Group, Inc.; Books-A-Million, I nc.; Amazon.com, Inc.; Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.; Costco Wholesale Corpor ation.
- Key Dates:
- 1873: Charles Montgomery Barnes enters the second-hand book bu siness in Wheaton, Illinois, soon shifting operations to Chicago.
- 1894: Barnes's business is reorganized as C.M. Barnes Company.
- 1917: The founder's son, William R. Barnes, sells his interest in his father's firm and moves to New York, where he acquires an int erest in the educational bookstore Noble & Noble (partnering with C. Clifford Noble), soon renamed Barnes & Noble.
- 1929: Noble withdraws from the business, but the Barnes & Noble name sticks.
- 1932: Company's flagship retail store is opened on New York's Fifth Avenue and 18th Street.
- 1969: John Barnes, grandson of the founder, dies, and the comp any is sold to Amtel, Inc., a conglomerate.
- 1971: Leonard Riggio purchases Barnes & Noble.
- 1986: Company acquires the B. Dalton Bookseller chain.
- Early 1990s:The modern generation of Barnes & Noble superstores i s introduced, followed by rapid expansion.
- 1993: Company goes public.
- 1997: Barnesandnoble.com, the firm's bookselling web site, is launched.
- 1998: Bertelsmann AG acquires a 50 percent stake in barnesandn oble.com.
- 1999: Barnesandnoble.com is taken public; company enters the v ideo game retailing sector by acquiring Babbage's Etc. LLC.
- 2002: Stephen Riggio, Leonard's brother, is named CEO, with th e elder Riggio remaining chairman.
- 2003: Company expands its book publishing operations with the purchase of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.; Barnes & Noble acquire s Bertelsmann's interest in barnesandnoble.com.
- 2004: Barnes & Noble acquires full control of barnesand no ble.com; company's foray into video game retailing ends when its rema ining shares in GameStop Corp. are distributed to Barnes & Noble shareholders.
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