Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) is the largest bookseller in terms of sales revenue in the United States.The company operates 1300+ stores and an online retailer Barnes & Noble.com. Its core business model relies on building local bookstores with comprehensive selection, attractive discounts and membership discount programs, and a community-gathering-place environment (e.g., the inclusion of a Starbucks cafe in each Barnes & Noble store).
Barnes & Noble has been suffering from diminishing margins as sales in the company's retail store struggle. Declining operating margins were mainly caused by higher discounts offered to compete with lower-priced online booksellers, one of the main negative pressures the print industry is facing right now due to a number of negative industry trends. To mitigate the company's slower retail book sales, Barnes & Noble has put a large amount of resources into the developing eBook market. As the demand for portable and low-cost books increases, the market for eBooks and eReaders will grow as well. Barnes & Noble's Nook offers wireless connectivity and access to millions of books. The company does face intense competition in the relatively young market, primarily from Amazon's Kindle 3, which has many of the same features as the Nook. The two companies have been engaged in price wars over the eReaders, something that is risky for Barnes & Noble. The two competitors also face competition from non-exclusive eReaders such as Apple's iPad.(Read more at Wikinvest )