Mine closed four years ago and I'll be honest, I thought all would be gone within five years. Looks like I might have been wrong. Barnes & Noble is not doing great judging by the majority of the posts here, but it's still functioning to an extent with no immediate end in sight. Color me surprised.
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The plan is to close older large stores that are less profitable or not at all. To close ones that are in questionable locations and open new ones that are more profitable. No surprise that’s the business plan. New stores are very nice!
Margins are tight, they benefit from Elliot management for now the owner is quite fond of the brand, they survive in general on goodwill who knows what the future holds for the company.
There have been many new stores opening this year. Additionally, store investment in renovating. I left in 2018.