In the late 1990s, the book industry was upended by the rise of the superstore. With big footprints in exurban shopping centers, Barnes & Noble (BKS) and Borders (BGP) superstores offered what many shopping-mall-sized and downtown mom and pop stores couldn't: aisles upon aisles of hardbacks, paperbacks and magazines, and cushy cafés to lounge around and read them in, for hours on end. Thousands of independent booksellers found themselves outclassed by such accoutrements, and went out of business.
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