A few weeks ago, I wrote a blog post about the trouble facing Barnes and Noble. Not long after that post, the company’s executive, Mitchell Klipper, told the Wall Street Journal that 20 stores will close every year over the next decade. The article points out that since 2003 15 stores per year has closed; however, the company opened more than 30 per year. During the last fiscal year, the company closed 14 stores and didn’t open any.
Without any new openings, the closures would reduce the number of stores by a third. As I’ve said in the previous blog post, all of these closings make it unclear how long Barnes & Noble will be able to stick around, especially since the sale of print books is rapidly dropping (22 percent over the last five years, according to Nielsen Bookscan).
The irony of all this is that Borders and Barnes & Noble led to the closure of countless community indie bookstores, and now if Barnes & Noble ultimately meets the fate of Borders, then no bookstores will be left.
3 thoughts on “Barnes and Noble Moving Forward with Closings”
Disagree w/ yr last paragraph here… inquiring minds nee to know, first, whether yr assessment is based on the aforementioned are primarily indie used book stores weighted otherwise toward independent publishers/distributors, small presses, literary, etc. journals and zines…
Frank, I’m not at all saying that all indie bookstores are weighted toward indie publishers, distrubtors, small presses, zines, etc etc. It is true that some are (the Doylestown Bookstore and New Hope Bookstore outside of Philly come to mind), but they also carry work by larger publishers, too. I am talking about smaller, locally-run bookstores. My theory is that Borders and Barnes n Nobles drove a lot of those bookstores out of business. I know that is true for a few indie bookstores that used to exist in Scranton and Wilkes-Barre. They simply couldn’t compete with the big box stores. Now I fear that if Barnes n Noble closes entirely at some point, there will not be anything left, except for online ordering options. That is unless indie bookstores rise to take the place of the big box stores, but I’m skeptical of that, since paper books are selling less and less now. It is increasingly very hard to run a bookstore now-a-days.
This is so sad and scary.