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caption: Barnes & Noble in downtown Seattle closes, two decades after executives there threatened to open a book-selling website to "crush" Amazon. com
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Barnes & Noble in downtown Seattle closes, two decades after executives there threatened to open a book-selling website to "crush" Amazon. com
Credit: KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph

Barnes & Noble downtown is closing: 'It's Amazon' says one customer

Barnes & Noble will close its downtown Seattle store Saturday. It's been two decades since executives of the giant bookstore chain took Jeff Bezos to dinner and told him they would crush his tiny business, Amazon.

The dinner took place at the Dahlia Lounge downtown, not far from where Barnes & Noble is now liquidating children's books, guest registers, and desk calendars. In his book "The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon," author Brad Stone quotes early Amazon investor Tom Alberg as saying, "It was a pretty friendly dinner. Other than the threats."

caption: Disassembled store shelves at Barnes & Noble in downtown Seattle.
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Disassembled store shelves at Barnes & Noble in downtown Seattle.
Credit: KUOW Photo/Carolyn Adolph


Today it is Amazon that has transformed book-selling, is transforming retail, and is also reconfiguring Seattle's downtown. Macy's department store — the building for which also contains Amazon offices — is closing next month. Meanwhile, Barnes & Noble is in decline, though its store at Northgate Mall among others in the region remain open.

Rosa Campos said the moment she learned of the closing, she went right to the store. "I can't believe it, " she said. The reason for the closing: "I think Amazon."

"I'm not against Amazon but I feel like Amazon is having all the customers. And it's sad."