It’s really a bittersweet time for the people who work and shop at Barnes & Noble in Lahaina. Staff have already dismantled many of the shelves in preparation for their impending move to Kahului, giving the place an anxious feeling it never had before. While it’s nice to know that the store will remain open on Maui–a reality that just a few months ago seemed impossible–it’s sad to see the store’s famous book posters stacked near the back (as you can see from this poster, I shelled out $30 cash for their Walden poster).
Their official move-date is Sunday, Mar. 11, and because the new location is the old Petco at the Maui Marketplace, the new store will be somewhat smaller. Company officials say the move is “temporary,” but as to how long they’ll be there, no one can say.
Then again, the whole Barnes & Noble chain is getting smaller. Business may have been good at the Lahaina store, but across the country, holiday sales in 2017 weren’t that great. Because there was a 6.4 percent decline in sales during the last two months of 2017, according to this Feb. 25, 2018 story in Forbes, the company has decided to cut staff everywhere, in hopes of saving about $40 million annually. “The new model will allow stores to adjust staff up or down based on the needs of the business, increase store productivity and streamline store operations,” the company said in a Securities & Exchange Commission filing, according to Forbes.
To be fair, it all isn’t bad news at B&N: in fact, the company just announced that they’re starting up a book club–you know, like Oprah Winfrey’s, but hopefully with fewer fake memoirs. The club will be free, open to the public and take place at all 632 Barnes & Noble locations, according to the Mar. 5 Publisher’s Weekly. The first meeting, which will discuss Meg Wolitzer’s new novel The Female Persuasion, will happen at 6pm local time on Wednesday, May 2.