A few years ago, Borders closed its doors in Austin and around the country. Now, the city might begin losing a few more booksellers. The CEO of Barnes & Noble's retail group, Mitchell Klipper, told the Wall Street Journal this week that the company plans to close 20 stores a year for a decade.
With nearly 700 stores in total currently, not including college outlets,Barnes & Noble is the largest chain in the nation. Even after reducing the number of stores to 450 or 500 by the end of this downsizing in 2023, it will still represent perhaps the last of the brick and mortar giants which used to rule the retail market for books.
The sale of print books is dropping each year as e-readers and tablets become more common, and so far Barnes & Noble's chosen platform, the Nook, has not been winning the battle against competitors like the iPad and Kindle. And for traditional print on paper, Kindle's maker, Amazon, is yet again edging away at the store's customer base. Despite this, the company still earned $317 million last year, and only a "handful" of current stores, according to Klipper, is actually losing money.
Klipper didn't give any hints as to which locations would be the ones to go, but it's possible that with more than half a dozen currently open, Austin is likely to lose at least one of the seven which are now open. Do you currently buy your books at Barnes & Noble? What will you do if the one near you closes?