Barnes and Noble is a large chain of bookstores based in the United States. It is known for large (often out-of-town) retail outlets, many of which contain branches of coffee retailer Starbucks, and for aggressive discounting of bestsellers. Most stores also sell magazines, newspapers, DVDs, and music.

Barnes and Noble was founded in 1873 by Charles M. Barnes in Wheaton, Illinois (as a book printer) and opened its first retail outlet in 1917 (in partnership with G. Clifford Noble). During the 1950s and 60's their bookstore in New York vied with Brentano's as a new-book retailer. Barnes and Noble distinguished itself by selling textbooks, scholarly, and technical books as well as a huge selection of general-interest titles.

The business was purchased in 1971 by Leonard Riggio, its current chairman. Riggio oversaw the growth of the struggling business into the largest retailer of books in North America, where its critics claim it has contributed (along with online retailer to the decline of local booksellers. It also has a number of stores in Europe, where a program of expansion is underway.

The chain opened an online bookstore ( in 1997, largely to compete with Amazon. The two businesses make an interesting comparison, because as of 2003 Amazon was and is a pure Internet business, while Barnes and Noble combines what is practically a clone of the Amazon Internet bookstore with their huge chain of brick-and-mortar retail stores.

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