Barnes and Noble traces its beginning back to 1886 when the Arthur Hinds & Company bookstore was opened in the Cooper Union building in New York City. Shortly after opening, Gilbert Clifford Noble was hired as a clerk.
In 1894, Noble was made a partner and the name Hinds & Noble was adopted. In 1917, Noble bought out Hinds and partnered with William Barnes to form Barnes & Noble.
In 1930, Noble sold his shares in the company to John Barnes. Noble died in 1936.
In 1969, John Barnes died and the company was sold to Amtel.
In 1971, the company was purchased by current Chairman Leonard Riggio III.
Today, Barnes and Noble operates 689 stores in all 50 states. In addition, they own 667 college bookstores. The company is the largest retail bookseller in the US.
In 2012, the company had annual revenue of $7 billion but has fallen on hard times, with revenue in 2017 only $3.7 billion. Rumors have swirled that the company might be looking at bankruptcy, however, in October 2018, current chairman Leonardo Riggio stated that he might purchase the publicly traded company.
Company headquarters are located in New York, New York and is publicly traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol BKN