Is Reston Barnes & Noble Part of a Trend?
Wall Street Journal reports bookstore chain plans to close about one-third of stores over next 10 years.
Reston's Barnes & Noble is preparing to close its doors at the end of next month. Is this part of a trend for the national bookstore chain?
Yes, according to the Wall Street Journal. In a story published Monday, Mitchell Klipper, chief executive of Barnes & Noble's retail group, told the WSJ the company will have 450 to 500 stores in 10 years, down from 689 as of Jan. 23. It also currently has a separate chain of 674 college stores.
Barnes & Noble announced in December it would close the Reston location, where it was anchored the Spectrum for more than 15 years. The store and its landlord, Lerner Enterprises, failed to reach a lease agreement. The Container Store has leased the space and will open in the fall, Lerner says.
Barnes & Noble currently has many items 40 percent off or more and had already dismantled many of the store's shelves as it prepares for its Feb. 28 closing. The attached Starbucks location will remain open.
The WSJ story says Barnes & Noble has shrunk its retail presence over the past several years as e-book readers and tablet computers have gained popularity.
The company had as many as 726 bookstores in 2008, but it has been closing an average of 15 a year over the past decade, the WSJ said. At the same time, it was also opening 30 or more a year, but that level has dropped sharply, with Barnes & Noble opening only two new stores this fiscal year.
To get to its new lower level, the company will be closing about 20 stores a year, the WSJ said.
A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman says that the company has closed about 15 stores annually each year for the last decade for a variety of reasons - and that Barnes & Noble has not adjusted its closing plan.
"We have historically closed approximately 15 stores per year for the past 10 years," CNET reports. "Of that number some of the stores are unprofitable while others are relocations to better properties. ... It should be noted that in 2012, Barnes & Noble opened two new prototype stores and in 2013 plans to test several other prototypes, as well."
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