Barnes & Noble to Close 200 Stores Over Next Decade

Laura Hazard Owen, writing for

Barnes & Noble plans to close about twenty retail stores a year over the next ten years, the company's retail CEO Marshall Klipper told the Wall Street Journal. Today, there are 689 Barnes & Noble stores nationwide, plus 674 college stores.

The WSJ notes that "the chain shut an average of about 15 stores a year in the past decade, but until 2009 it also was opening 30 or more a year," with a peak of 726 stores in 2008. Klipper may have chosen to talk to the WSJ to show investors that the company has a plan. He said that fewer than 20 of the chain's retail stores are unprofitable, and "we're going to be around a long time" because consumers read both print and ebooks (this is a point that the company has been pressing for awhile, based on its own research).

This makes me sad. Both the Borders and Barnes & Noble stores local to me have closed their doors over the last few years. I remember spending hours in each store, browsing and reading (and buying). As much as I love Amazon — especially since I'm a Prime member — I miss bookstores. I always felt there was a certain charm to them that made them warm and inviting. In any case, I, too, have succumbed to the convenience of buying online and reading digital books and newspapers. I still buy dead-tree books, but I reserve those occasions for special titles, like Walter Isaacson's bio on Steve Jobs or sports reference books, but that's it.

(via The Loop)