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Barnes & Noble chairman Leonard Riggio stopped trying to buy the company's bookstores Tuesday. Riggio is the bookstore's biggest shareholder, but he decided that the company needs to focus on other things.
In February, Riggio began to bid for the company's 675 stores, but wasn't willing to pay anywhere near $1 billion. Now, he has decided he doesn't want to spend any money at all on the business.
“While I reserve the right to pursue an offer in the future, I believe it is in the company’s best interests to focus on the business at hand,” Riggio stated, according to the New York Times.
According to The Wall Street Journal, that business is catering to current Nook owners and building retail business. His purchase would have left Barnes & Noble Nook Media as the company's only remaining business, but he believes that "right now our priority should be to serve the more than 10 million customers who own Nook devices, to concentrate on building our retail business, and to accelerate the sale of Nook products in our stores, and in the marketplace."
Now what will happen to the beloved bookstores? The future is wary, especially with this decision. The decision to stop producing Nook color tablets and the resignation of chief executive William J. Lynch Jr. also factor in. Barnes & Noble successfully sells digital books, but the stores are struggling to stay afloat – hopelessly trying to compete with Apple, Amazon, Google, and Samsung. Disappointing earnings reports and devastating drops in shares don't make business look promising for the bookstores.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons