A new Barnes & Noble opens in Kirkland, showing how the bookstore chain is changing
The opening of a new bookstore is always an act of optimism: a determined belief that there continue to be many people who prefer to pick out books from an actual shelf or table, and buy them while exchanging pleasantries or book recommendations with an actual person. But when the new bookstore is a Barnes & Noble, a national chain that has shuttered three stores in the Seattle area in recent years, it’s not just optimism, but a vast reset, one that takes its principles from small, independent bookstores.

Barnes & Noble, whose newest branch formally opens Wednesday at The Village at Totem Lake in Kirkland, is no indie; it’s owned, since 2019, by the same British private equity firm that owns the U.K. bookstore chain Waterstones. But its current CEO, James Daunt, got his start running his own bookshop (he still owns Daunt Books in London). Since taking the reins at Barnes & Noble nearly two years ago, his goal has been to transform the company by giving local staff more control over the stores. It’s been a successful strategy for the Waterstones chain, over which Daunt also presides, and he’s encouraged by its early results in the U.S. stores....


RSK: Barnes & Noble had a good thing going with their coffee shop concept. People in our area love their morning coffee and love their books and reading material....why not combine the concept once again? Even go further and have beer and wine starting at 4 PM till close at 8. Just saying.

Ken Notes: I like the way Ralph thinks, and in the shameless self promotion category, take a look at my new publication WisCraftNews.com

- - Volume: 9 - WEEK: 23 Date: 6/1/2021 8:49:08 AM -