Barnes & Noble’s top store executive Mitchell Klipper has told the Wall Street Journal that the company plans the closure of at least 20 stores a year for the next decade.
Since 2003, the company has shut an average of 15 stores a year – but it also opened more than 30 per year, according to the Journal. Last year, however, the company closed 14 stores and didn’t open any. This year, a prominent Manhattan store has already shut its doors.
Without any new openings, that rate of closure would reduce the total number of Barnes & Noble’s stores by a third – it currently has 689 retail stores, and 674 college stores. Their first store opened in New York City in 1917, and since the closing of Borders in 2011, it is by far the nation’s largest book retailer chain.
Store revenue over the recent holiday period was down 11% on the previous year, however the company still made $317 million in earnings last year, more than enough, according to Klipper, to offset losses from the Nook ereader section of the company, which spends heavily on advertising and new technology.
From massive Barnes & Nobles to tiny mom and pop operations, bookstores across the globe have faced impossible odds this past decade. And the pace of bookstore closing has only accelerated over the past few years.This harsh reality can feel tragic to those who love the physicality of books and still haven’t gotten used to the Kindle, but a new generation is learning to adapt to e-reading. I suspect that the children who are just learning to read today on iPads won’t grow up nostalgic for the Borders that they never knew
Which other stores do you remember fondly?
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