Barnes & Noble stops selling magazines while coronavirus rages

No new magazines will be sold at Barnes & Noble while the coronavirus rages, Media Ink has learned.

Barnes & Noble, which earlier this week said it was temporarily shutting 400 of its 620 stores due to the pandemic, is now telling magazine publishers to halt shipments of all magazines to its remaining stores.

“It will probably be a bigger deal for smaller publishers who count on the money they get upfront from B&N,” said one industry veteran, who noted that big newsstand titles, like Hearst’s Cosmopolitan and Meredith’s People, are far more reliant on other retailers.

Overall, B&N, which has been shrinking since Amazon was known as a bookseller, probably accounts for just 4 percent of the magazines sold at retail nationally. A far bigger outlet for magazines is Walmart, accounting for closer to 17 percent of all sales.

Meanwhile, the industry veteran noted that panic buying may be sending more customers into Walmart, Target and supermarkets, where they may also be buying more magazines to keep them entertained at home. Overall, magazine sales through Walmart and Target have jumped over 3 percent this year, while supermarket sales are up 12 percent, he said.

B&N had not responded by press time.

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