Barnes and Noble Mission Statement, Vision Statement Analysis, and Core Values


Barnes and Noble began in 1873 when Charles Barnes started a business that operated from his home. His son learned the trade of selling books, and he would eventually enter into a partnership with family friend Gilbert Noble to follow this pursuit.

As with most bookstores, Barnes and Noble went through a series of bankruptcies and mergers in the 1990s. Online access to books and information upended the bookstore retail format.

Now it operates over 620 retails stores throughout the United States. Its headquarters is on Fifth Avenue in New York City, and Barnes and Noble is a Fortune 1000 company.

Barnes and Noble's Mission Statement Analysis

The mission statement of Barnes and Noble is to “operate the best omnichannel specialty retail business in America, helping both our customers and booksellers reach their aspirations while being a credit to the communities we serve.

Four crucial points of emphasis can are essential to reflect upon from this statement.

  • “The best omnichannel specialty retail business” indicates a move by the brand away from selling books. This part of the statement refers to the different methods of shopping the company makes available to consumers while providing a variety of products.
  • “Helping both our customers and booksellers” reflects the care that the organization seeks to offer its employees and each person who visits their website or store.
  • “Being a credit to the communities we serve” is a nod to the brand’s desire to be socially responsible wherever it does business through positive corporate citizenship.
  • “In America” indicates a desire to stop trying to be a multinational brand without eliminating the opportunities that an e-commerce platform provides.

Barnes and Noble’s Vision Statement Analysis

Elliott Management Corporation currently owns Barnes and Noble. This investment management firm operates on the principle that the brand “strives to be more than a conventional bookselling corporation to be a dynamic and easy-to-use store for everyone.

This vision statement is a direct reflection of the company’s desire to be an integral part of each community. Barnes and Noble hosts over 100,000 local events each year, along with national-scale celebrations like their LEGO® build events.

The component of striving to become more than a “conventional bookselling corporation” reflects the brand’s push to offer electronic shopping options. Customers can go online to find ebooks, purchase hardcover or softcover titles, and self-publish novels through NOOK®.

Barnes and Noble’s Core Values Analysis

Barnes and Noble focuses on the core values of respect, empathy, responsibility, and integrity.

These four critical emphasis points promote a better customer experience because it encourages a custom approach to each transaction. Even if a customer only visits the café without buying a book, the brand wants to make it a world-class experience.

That means the goal is to provide each consumer with the exact resource they need to accomplish their preferred outcome. That is why Barnes and Noble offers more than fiction or non-fiction books today. 

This series of core values led Barnes and Noble to be named the most powerful retain brand by Tenet Partners in 2016.  

(Image Credits: Mike Kalasnik)

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