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The Associated Press reports that 2018 competitive realities mean that the in dependent bookstore sector and Barnes & Noble each see in the other a kind of kindred spirit, despite the fact that not too long ago, Barnes & Noble was seen as an enemy by small bookstores that saw it as threatening their existence.

There’s a simple reason: Amazon.

"That does end up changing the dynamic a little bit,” says Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association (ABA).

The AP writes that “while Barnes & Noble has struggled in recent years, the ABA has continued its rebound after a long decline brought on by Barnes & Noble and Borders, and then Amazon. Membership in the independent's trade group grew over the past year from 1,757 to 1,835, and the actual number of store locations from 2,321 to 2,470, at a time when online retailing has devastated numerous physical retailers. In the first four months of 2018, sales from the roughly 650-750 independent stores reporting numbers have increased more than 5 percent from the same time the year before, according to Teicher. In 2009, the ABA had just 1,401 members and 1,651 stores and had shrunk by two-thirds since the beginning of the 1990s, when membership topped 5,000.”

And, the story notes, “it's not uncommon for Barnes & Noble outlets and locally owned stores to refer customers to each other should a given book be out of stock. On the corporate level, they are allied on First Amendment issues and on getting online retailers such as Amazon to collect sales tax. Teicher says it's vital for all so-called ‘bricks and mortar’ sellers that the superstore chain ‘not only survives, but thrives’.”
KC's View:
Remember the ancient proverb … The enemy of my enemy is my friend.