Barnes & Noble will eliminate the number of stores it operates over the next decade. It plans to cut about 30 percent to between 450 and 500 stores by the year 2022, which its head says is still "a good business model."
If you still buy hardcover or paperback books and haven’t yet nor plan to purchase an eReader, you’re going to have less bookstores to patron over the next decade.
In an interview with the Wall Street Journal last week, Mitchell Klipper, chief executive of the company's retail group, confirmed that Barnes & Noble will reduce the number of retail stores from 689 (as of Jan. 23, 2013) to between 450 and 500.
“You have to adjust your overhead, and get smart with smart systems,” said Klipper. “Is it what it used to be when you were opening 80 stores a year and dropping stores everywhere? Probably not. It's different. But every business evolves.”
Mary Ellen Keating, a spokesperson for the bookstore chain, told the Associated Press that it has been closing 15 stores each year for the past decade. Many of the stores are closing either because they’re unprofitable or they’re relocating to a better store.
“The company's management is fully committed to the retail concept for the long term,” added Keating.
The company also operates 674 college bookstores, which serve more than 4.6 million students and faculty members across the United States.
For the fiscal year 2012, Barnes & Noble reported $7 billion in revenues. It recently disclosed a 10.9 percent decrease in sales at its bookstores and on its website over the holiday season. As of 2008, it maintains a workforce of 40,000.