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Barnes & Noble bookstores may shutdown for good, startup businesses decline

After announcing poor first quarter earnings, the struggling book bookstore's shares fell nearly 16% in morning trading.
After announcing poor first quarter earnings, the struggling book bookstore's shares fell nearly 16% in morning trading.
(Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

The New York City-based retail book outlet, Barnes & Noble has plans to close more stores by the end of the year and although they have more than 600 stores still operating, their future looks bleak and may end up shutting down permanently, WND reported on Tuesday.

WND pointed out that Michael Levin of the Contra Costa Times had warned that if anyone has a Barnes and Nobles gift card, they had better use it before the end of the year because Barnes and Noble just may not be in business anymore.

Levin said that technology and digital publishing is hurting book sales by how easy it is to buy books from Amazon and book discount challenges by Walmart and Costco have cut into their sales.

Levin also pointed out that customer service is lacking at Barnes & Noble outlets and Levin said, “Book buyers want decent customer service. At B&N these days, the only way to find a sales clerk is to attempt to shoplift.”

Joyce Hart, an industry veteran in sales and agent services for several decades told WND, “I have seen many changes in the book industry, especially in the last five years. We’ve seen the demise of many of the independent bookstores. Borders is gone, and now what is the future of Barnes & Noble?”

“However, online shopping is so easy, and if you spend ‘X’ amount of money, you get free shipping,” she said. “Digital publishing has made huge changes in the way we read books. I still prefer holding a book in my hand, but I have a Kindle, a Nook and an iPad, and I read from those readers.”

Meanwhile, the Washington Post on Monday reported that U.S. businesses are being destroyed faster than they are being created and is less entrepreneurial now than at any point since 1978 and pointed to research done by the Brookings Institution and the research points to less employment.

The Brookings Institution said in reference to their report analysis, “Business dynamism is the process by which firms continually are born, fail, expand, and contract, as some jobs are created, others are destroyed, and others still are turned over. Research has firmly established that this dynamic process is vital to productivity and sustained economic growth. Entrepreneurs play a critical role in this process, and in net job creation.”

“The precipitous drop since 2006 is both noteworthy and disturbing. For context, the rate of firm failures held relatively steady, aside from the uptick during the Great Recession. In other words, the level of business deaths kept growing along with the overall level of businesses in the economy, but the level of business births did not it held relatively steady before dropping significantly in the recent downturn. In fact, business deaths now exceed business births for the first time in the thirty plus-year history of our data,” the Brookings Institution revealed.

The Brookings Institution authors compiled the data from 1978 through 2011. However, business creation and failures trends may have become reversed or become more stabilized and they would be monitoring the latest data.

The Brookings Institution report of the past three decades can be viewed here.