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Activist Hedge Fund Buys Barnes and Noble!

Barnes and Noble might’ve been just saved!

Barnes and Noble shares had fallen about 25% since last year and has lost over $1 billion dollars. to many of you, this may come as no surprise. Barnes and Noble is dealing with enormous pressure from Amazon, and Barnes and Nobles, at least judging from a stock comparison, just does not have the muscle to deal with it. But, I could be wrong.

Vulture capitalist Paul Singer of Elliot Management bought out Barnes and Noble for roughly $683 million. Mr Singer is described by Fortune Magazine as one of the “smartest and toughest money managers” and by The Independent as “a pioneer in the business of buying up sovereign bonds on the cheap, and then going after countries for unpaid debts.”

Mr. Singer is an activist investor that uses his equity to force certain changes in order to shape a company from a money-bleeding debt machine to something that can actually make a profit. What this means for the employees is anyone’s guess, but I think it’s safe to assume that many waves of changes are about to take place. Barnes and Noble had already put all or most of their full-time employees as part-time to try to cut costs, but that didn’t stop the bleeding.

With a reputation of using his equity for activism, Mr. Singer could radically shape Barnes and Noble and give the brand longevity it needs. Now, whether or not that investment can thrive in a world where Amazon is ramping up the competition is the question I want to end with.

Let me know what you think in the comment section.

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Barnes and Noble Fail

While the digital book sales are steadily on the rise, and some traditional print mediums are switching to full digital, don’t kid yourself to believe that physical books don’t sell. According to recent articles from New York’s Times and The Guardian, ebook sales are actually taking a dip with physical copies outperforming.

With this framework in mind, let’s look at the fall of Barnes and Noble.

That’s mostly over now. On Monday the company laid off 1,800 people. This offered a cost savings of $40 million. But that’s particularly interesting. That means each of those people made an average of $22,000 or so per year and minimum wage workers – hourly folks who are usually hit hardest during post-holiday downturns – would be making $15,000. In fact, what B&N did was fire all full time employees at 781 stores.

the company laid off 1,800 people. This offered a cost savings of $40 million. But that’s particularly interesting. That means each of those people made an average of $22,000 or so per year and minimum wage workers – hourly folks who are usually hit hardest during post-holiday downturns – would be making $15,000. In fact, what B&N did was fire all full time employees at 781 stores.

Barnes and Noble reports struggles, which is odd since books are selling. Perhaps Barnes and Noble is too bloated for its own good. After all, the stores carry a electronic department thst sales CDs in a world where hardly anyone is buying a physical CD. The electronic department also sells movies, but who goes to Barnes and Noble to buy a movie? Barnes and Noble features hobby centric things, but who the fuck goes to Barnes and Noble to buy a model airplane?

Instead of firing ALL fulltime employees, sending them to the welfare office for food stamps and Medicaid, they could’ve axed whole departments, and perhaps leased the space. Odd suggestion? I though about this for a while, and even if Barnes and Noble closed down the electronic section, kicked out the hobby stuff for Hobby Lobby, and focused on why people shop there in the first place they would be left with huge overhead just from the size of the store alone!

Join me for a moment of pondering. Let’s pretend that we had the power to make the changes needed to bring Barnes and Noble back. What would we do?