Back in the early 20th century, a big department store arrived in Providence, RI--here's one small bookseller's lament about what it did to his business! The department store was truly mean--ostensibly offering a costly book for a rock bottom price, and "It was the beginning of my financial ruin...."
There's also a dig at Harper & Brothers-- who "then published far above the "tone" of the literature published by somebody now under the same name...."
The author is Sidney Rider; the original, from his "Book Notes," Vol. 29, page 2, can be read in its entirety here at Google Books.