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Fluid management situation at Barnes & Noble

A majority of Americans prefer national chain bookstores to local, but choices are dwindling

| BY Kent McDill

A majority of Americans prefer going to national bookstores rather than local ones, but there are concerns about the existence of the top national bookstore chain that hosts brick-and-mortar locations.

The recent resignation of CEO William Lynch put Barnes & Noble into a lurch, although immediate stock prices surged 5 percent with the news of Lynch’s departure. Chairman Leonard Riggio is leading a reorganization, and is attempting to separate the Nook tablet business from the physical bookstores.

 With the elimination of Borders Bookstores, Barnes & Noble is almost alone as a national bookstore chain that sells new editions. Books-a-Million has moved into the second spot nationally, with stores in 31 states, and there are numerous regional bookstore chains. Half-Price Books is a national chain that sells used books at cheaper prices.

Barnes & Noble’s most recent earnings report showed a loss of $118.6 million, which doubled the loss from the previous year. Nook sales have dropped 34 percent as a result of the competition from the Kindle ( and IPad (Apple).

According to a recent survey from Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner, 54.6 percent of investors prefer national company bookstores over local bookstores (39.6 percent). Amazon, which does not have brick-and-mortar locations, counts in the national bookstore count.

Females (42.9 percent), and those with a net worth of under $100,000 (48.3 percent), are more likely to shop at a local bookstore. Business owners are about evenly split on national versus local bookstores (48.1 to 44.4).

About the Author

Kent McDill

Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.

In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.

McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.

McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy  Buffett and all things Disney.