Dear Barnes & Noble Company,
I have been a long time, dedicated customer for over 20 years. I have bought countless books within your various stores. I am an interested party to what happens with your stores. And let me say, while your stores are my "happy place", I am NOT happy.
For several years now, I have watched changes unfold. While I know that every company is going to have experience change in order to grow and stay vital, I have been forced to watch negative changes occur. In my opinion, it feels as if you have been sabotaging your own company. What happened?! Where did you go wrong?!
Barnes & Noble made it's name as being the place to go for books. Within your stores, numerous book lovers found a place for their passion to call home. I am one of those people. I remember being in junior high, and going to B. Dalton to buy books. There was no Barnes & Noble store near me, so my Mom would take me there. I began collecting your classics collection. I started out when the adult classics were in yellow jackets, and the kids ones were in blue. I have been adding to my collection ever since.
At what point did you think adding a toy section to your stores was a smart idea? What in the world made you think removing shelves of books and replacing them with over priced toys was a good business move? And who had, in your company, had the arrogance to claim Barnes & Noble the #1 toy seller?! Did you forget what your company is called? Let me refresh you with what your store name signs say: BARNES & NOBLE BOOKSELLERS. Booksellers- not toy sellers!
I am a loyal patron. I will go down with the ship, if it goes down. However, out of my loyalty I beg of you to stop destroying a beloved company. Your company made it's name, and reputation, on selling books like no other company has. Amazon can't even top what you do. You supply people with the chance to step into the wondrous world of books as soon as they walk through the door. Amazon doesn't have actual stores to encourage browsing and exploring other books. I can't tell you how many books I've discovered without setting out to. NEVER underestimate the power of browsing. A website can do that, but only to a point.
Go back to the business plan you had when you were successful. Remember what put you guys on the map in the first place. I beg of you. I realize digital reading is a difficult hurdle to overcome. But, never forgot the loyal customers who still prefer books in their original form. I still prefer holding my books in my hands as I journey through their pages. Do not alienate that core base. They aren't going to disappear unless you force them to.