The retail industry has been dealt a big blow over the last decade as eCommerce continues to thrive.
One area of retail in particular that’s been hit hard is brick-and-mortar bookstores. With Kindles and iPads being sold, digital versions of books available for download and the decreased foot traffic in stores, it should come as no surprise that one of the largest booksellers in the country could be on the brink of closing its doors.
Any rumors that may have been floating around about Barnes & Noble over the last few years just got a boost from investors circling the bookseller this week.
With sales on the decline for quite some time, the store’s survival may not be a shock to most. Even though its newly minted CEO said this year that physical bookstores would remain a staple in the retail industry, Barnes & Noble has confirmed that it was looking into hiring an investment banker to make a sale on the chain.
Although many investors, including Sandell Asset Management Corp., have begun asking Barnes & Noble to put itself up for sale given its undervalued stock, the retail chain has not been involved in a direct dialog. A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman said that neither Sandell Asset Management Corp. CEO Thomas Sandell “nor anyone from his hedge fund has reached out to us yet, but we welcome constructive dialogue with all of our shareholders.”
To help bolster its interest, Sandell started buying up Barnes & Noble’s shares, sending the stock up 13 percent, to $8.05. Given the company’s 60 percent decline over the last few years, a sale may be something worth considering for the retailer.