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Barnes & Noble to close up to 20 stores per year for next decade

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 28 Jan 2013 22:17

Barnes & Noble to close up to 20 stores per year for next decade Barnes & Noble has announced today that it will begin shuttering stores as it moves away from retail.
"In 10 years we'll have 450 to 500 stores," added Mitchell Klipper, CEO of Barnes & Noble's retail group. As of today, the company operates 689 retail stores and 674 college stores, which operate separately.

Klipper notes that the retailer will close up to 20 stores per year for the next decade to achieve the goal.

Until 2009, the company was opening up to 30 new stores per year, even if it closed underperforming stores. By last year though, the company had only opened 2 stores. In 2008, there were 728 retail stores.

"Even with 450 to 500 stores, it's a good business model," says Mr. Klipper (via WSJ). "You have to adjust your overhead, and get smart with smart systems. 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."

The company has tried, with varying success, to take share of the ebook/ereader market dominated by Amazon and Apple. Its Nook products have been critically acclaimed, but sales have stalled. Klipper says retail is not dead, however, as only 18 of their stores lose money, less than 3 percent of the total. While the company's Nook division continues to lose money, the retail side brought in $317 million in earnings in 2012.

Tags: Retail Nook B&N
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