I distinctly remember why I shifted to using B&N.
The typical mall bookstore – I can no longer even remember the name now – was effectively dead, and B&N was huge. The SF&F section was reasonably well stocked with recent works and most of the “classics” and I had no issues finding Baen stuff. A full set of magazine shelves thoroughly up to date, and a lot of computer/programming books from when ever-evolving standards and documentation hadn’t made the concept of buying a book on, say, programming python, a laughing matter.
Plus they had a coffee shop. You could get a coffee and/or a cookie, and sit and read, and they wouldn’t bug you. The coffee shop made them a lot of money from me – a lot of unfinished books were bought just so I could finish them.
But things have been going south for some time. More games, less books, firing full time staff. Now this report.
It’s not just the miasma of impending doom the (now completely) part time work force exudes. It’s the stock on the shelves.
The magazines are completely up to date but the books are not. There are several new release titles that should be on the shelves and just aren’t. They didn’t have any standard back to school stuff loading down the shelves either. In addition to that, there is still a ton of various last Jedi related titles that should either be on special or should have been outright remaindered by now.
A few speculations are made as to why this may be, and a few people report that they get the same impression elsewhere.
Me, I think I was last in one two years ago to pick up some stuff for a school reading list.