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Barnes & Noble

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Barnesandnoble1.jpg
A typical Barnes & Noble bookstore.

Barnes & Noble is a large chain of bookstores based in the United States. It is known for large (often out-of-town) retail outlets, many of which contain a cafe serving Starbucks coffee, and for competitive discounting of bestsellers. Most stores also sell magazines, newspapers, DVDs, graphic novels, and music.

As of January 31, 2004, the company operated 840 stores in 50 states and the District of Columbia. They plan to open 30-35 new stores every year.

Barnes & Noble start could be traced back to 1873 when Charles M. Barnes opened up a store in Wheaton, Illinois (as a book printer). The first store was actually set up by his son, William (in partnership with G. Clifford Noble), in 1917 in New York, New York. During the 1950s and 60's their bookstore in New York vied with Brentano's as a new-book retailer. Barnes and Noble distinguished itself by selling textbooks, scholarly, and technical books as well as a huge selection of general-interest titles.

The business was purchased in 1971 by Leonard Riggio, its current chairman. Riggio oversaw the growth of the struggling business into the largest retailer of books in North America, where its critics claim it has contributed (along with online retailer Amazon.com) to the decline of local booksellers.

The chain opened an online bookstore (bn.com) in 1997, largely to compete with Amazon. The two businesses make an interesting comparison, because as of 2003 Amazon was and is a pure Internet business, while Barnes & Noble combines what is practically a clone of the Amazon Internet bookstore with their huge chain of brick-and-mortar retail stores.

Starbucks and Barnes & Noble

Most Barnes & Noble locations have a B&N Café that serves Starbucks coffee. Understandably, the discount/gift cards used by both companies are not transferable, because they are not owned by the same company. This leads to confusion of many customers, often traveling, because a significant amount of the older locations were placed next to actual Starbucks coffeehouses.

Ironically Barnes & Noble's competition, Borders, also has a relationship with Starbucks, as they are replacing their cafés with cafés that feature Starbucks-owned brand, Seattle's Best Coffee (SBC).

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