B&N Prepares For the Bleak Midwinter

By Neal Comment

barnes-noble-logo.jpgThis morning’s Wall Street Journal alerts us to
the holiday gloom descending upon Barnes & Noble, as an internal memo from Leonard-Riggio warns:

“Never in all of the years I’ve been in business have I seen a worse outlook for the economy… And never in all my years as a bookseller have I seen a retail climate as poor as the one we are in. Nothing even close.”

(He’s been in the business since 1965, in case you were wondering.)

Jeffrey Trachtenberg finds a bit of silver lining, noting that B&N “expects to finish comfortably in the black for the year and doesn’t have any bank debt.” But maintaining profitability surely requires some changes; on that note, ICV2.com reports a severe drop in graphic novel orders from both B&N and Borders, with an unnamed publisher suggesting that orders from the two major chains may be down as much as 60 percent for the last two months of the year.