Barnes & Noble Closing Hundreds Of Stores Soon

    January 29, 2013
    Amanda Crum
    Comments are off for this post.

With the digital market being what it is, brick-and-mortar stores are finding it harder and harder to keep up with the competition offered by e-readers and tablets and smartphones. Barnes & Noble is no exception, despite being one of the most successful bookstore chains in the country.

Even after offering their own e-reader–the Nook–the company is having a difficult time staying above water in an increasingly paperless world. Over the next ten years, they plan to close around a third of their stores, bringing the number of locations down from 689 to between 450 and 500. The company’s execs say they’ll be shuttering about 20 stores a year over the next decade.

But that doesn’t mean they’re ready to give up the business just yet. In a statement about the closings, spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said the company will simply have to adjust their expectations.

“We have historically closed approximately 15 stores per year for the past 10 years. Of that number some of the stores are unprofitable while others are relocations to better properties. The numbers reported today by the Wall Street Journal are consistent with analysts’ expectations. 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. Barnes & Noble has great real estate in prime locations and the company’s management is fully committed to the retail concept for the long term.”

B&N also says they plan on further developing the Nook and exploring spin-offs of the tablet reader in order to fully saturate the digital market.

Image: Barnes & Noble

  • Kelly

    Please don’t close the stores!!! i love going to B&N and looking at te books, buying the books — i am an avid reader and i buy all my books at B&N — i also like to go to the Starbucks inside the store, get my coffee, and then wander the store. i have been a B&N member for many years and look forward to my points and rewards. So, please reconsider your decision to close. not everyone has gone digital.

  • RocStar

    Not everyone has a tablet or an Ipad. I rather have a book in my hands…….

  • jane

    What a sad day. We do not allow our children to read “electronically”‘ They need to pick up a book. We have gone too far with this concept and our children will pay the price.

  • Tina

    I’m living in the wrong century. If they ever close all the libraries, I’ll just stop reading.

  • http://yahoo.com Roxene

    Oh, my God.I am so sick of the so called ‘new’ digital crap! I’m a reader: I LOVE A BOOK IN MY HAND, not another gadget that if I lose it, I’ve lost a couple hundred dollars. If I lose a book, $5, $10 I’m out…and I can easily replace it. The most that will happen to that book is somebody will toss it: a Kindle-somebody will sell it! Damn, Damn, Damn!! First Borders, now Barnes&Noble. What’s next-book clubs? Quiet Saturdays at B&N in the cafe…my friends and family never had a problem finding me the perfect gift-a B&N gift card! Plus they have had to find music from my era (60’s, 70’s). DAMN!

  • Nella

    I have both Ipad and laptop, Ipad took the place of my Kindle. I still much prefer to curl up with a paper book than with any of my electronic toys. I hated to see Borders go, and will hate to see B&N go… just have to support my local library, which, when I was a kid, was the only place to get books.

    • phyllis

      so sad to see this news item – I have always loved browsing bookstores and sitting in the cafe
      drinking coffee. It has always been one of the most relaxing ways to spend time. I also enjoy the
      book readings and lectures. I have noticed in B&N less merchandise – empty bottom shelves – whereas they used to have every space filled.

  • DK

    meh no big deal, just order used books online from betterworldbooks.com or abebooks.com. you’re donating to a great cause that way, the books are way cheaper, and you’re recycling books!

  • Ryan

    Thanks for killing off the small bookstore and now leaving communities with a void, B&N.

    • Bee

      “True reader”? What exactly is a true reader? I don’t just buy books that I happen upon. I always look at reviews and summaries and read the free previews they offer online before I even touch a book, but I still read 5 to 10 books a week. Does being a conscientious consumer mean that I’m not a “true reader”? I actually prefer reading ebooks because they’re incredibly convenient to access. I have over 200 books on my iTouch iBooks app, and I like the fact that I have access to all of them in one easily portable device

  • Denise B.

    Distressing turn of events.

    No-one can “browse” electronically, not all over the place as in a bookstore. True readers often find themselves buying a book they just happened upon.

    I live surrounded by books (not a room in my house is without), and cannot imaging a life with nothing but a Kindle.

  • http://Barnes&Noble Mary

    PLEASE…..Do not close book stores. They are the greatest resource available to our youth and everyone for that matter. It is a great place to go and explore and have a look at things you wouldn’t ordinarily read. The children’s center and storytime are excellent. No everyone has gone digital, especially children and seniors. Even if you are the only store of its kind left, you will survive. YOU ARE A WINNER> Take heed from changes that brought down other stores, IE, JC PENNEY. Too much change, down the tubes. Please think carefully. Thanks.

    • Bob

      Mary, they HAVE to close them if they’re not profitable. They are in business to make money. I’m sorry too, but you’d do the same if it were your business.

  • Bob Kane

    The problem with digital books is there are never any discounts. I can go to the local B&N and find many previous best sellers in the discount racks for less than $10 and get my 5% discount as a memeber too. You can’t get the digital copy for that price. The only cheap digital books are ones that are so long out of print that their copyrights have expired.

  • Butterfly

    i want to cry…i do not have a B&N near me so when i do go to a city that has one i am in heaven…this is just so sad…i am like a kid in a candy store when i am there…spending hours just enjoying all the sights and smells…whats next the used book stores are goin to close as well…we need to get our youth back into the books and off this “electronic” crap…i can guarantee you that their vision would thank us if we did…

  • caitlin

    What a potential loss! My family and I thoroughly enjoy going to
    B&N, ordering and buying books from the well informed
    staff. It’s our favorite place to go on the week-ends.

  • http://Cox Linn

    I was a library director 10 year ago, and could see this teck trend coming. It’s like reference books are being put in the check out books, due to computers. I too like a book in my hand, but my husband has a Kindle and loves it.

  • Lisa

    Oh I cringe! But I have to say, I think it isn’t just the digital deal that’s killing BN, it’s the prices. There’s rarely a sale & they are just too darn expensive. I mean how many show of hands go there to scope out a book only to buy it on Amazon later? Plus their music & video area sucks- at least I think so. Pull that shit out & put something else in there.


    Barnes and Noble: great store!! Contradiction is: as much as I like the store, I look for dirt cheap used books on amazon

    • John

      Think for a minute… where do these dirt cheap books come from? Overstock, people who bought them at B/N

  • Chris

    Go ahead and close all the stores you want then watch as the remaining customers you are left with toss those electronic readers in the scrap heaps as a result of the backlash you will suffer. Then we will all sue you for censoring our right to read in America by placing barriers to free access to books in our paths. Guys, you are only thiinking about corporate profits – THINK !!!

    • SH

      Barnes and Noble is a for profit company–of course they are thinking about profits, or even just making enough to break even and keep a brick and mortar presence. They are a business that is not looking to provide “free access to books” for you. I’m sure they’d actually like you to *buy* something now and then. You know, so they don’t have to close their stores. If you want free books, I suggest you visit your local library.

      • Bee

        Are you being facetious? Please tell me you’re being facetious. Suing them for not giving you access to free copies of COPYRIGHTED books is like suing Warner Bros for not letting you see all of their movies in theaters for free. It’s pure stupidity. They aren’t censoring your right to read by closing their stores and not providing you with free merchandise. If it means that much to you, go to your local library and get all the free books you want.

  • John Thompson

    I love barnes and nobles.it is the only place i have ever really bought books.Yes,i do have a Nook,but i actually read more paperbacks than e books.I love the extensive collection and sitting down at the cafe with a new interesting book.Ive had barnes and nobles for a long time and i really dont want to lose it.I understand no one will change this,but please dont close your stores.

  • john carrigan

    this was bound to happen eventually. even with sale prices the e-books are still cheaper than printed books. for example i went to b/n the other day to see how much the new terry francona book would cost me. 28 bucks for the printed version at b/n. 14 bucks if you get the amazon kindle edition.

  • http://WebProNews Deborah Fitzgerald

    As a librarian, I find closing Barnes and Noble distressing. I shop in my local Barnes and Noble all the time for books, cd’s, calendars, magazines, and gifts for family and friends. This is especially the case at the holidays and birthdays. Sure, I could go online to shop, but I prefer to browe and see my options up close and personal. I think they are making a big mistake.

  • Chelsea

    A B&N literally just opened near me in the old Borders building. I mean, it’s been open for 3-4 months if that. I hope that one isn’t going anywhere!

  • http://WebProNews Deborah Fitzgerald

    As a libraian, I find the closing of Barnes and Noble bookstores distressing. I use my local Barnes and Noble for books, music, calendars, periodicals, and gifts. This is especially the case during the holidays and birthdays. Sure, I could shop online, but I would like to comparison shop and see my options up close and personal. I think this is a big mistake.

  • Julie

    What a sad day indeed. I live 150 miles from a B&N so it is my favorite place to go when I get to the big city. There is nothing better than spending time there, touching the books and browsing the shelves. I can, and do, spend hours there. Libraries are great, but there is just something about reading a new book that no one else has had. I must admit that I do own a tablet (a gift) which is nice for the times when I can’t get to the city, but it is just not the same and is very wearing on my eyes. Part of the reading experience is holding the book and turning the pages…

  • jenn

    NO!!! I love B&N!

    • Terri Kanar

      Instead of crying about a bag, might you consider it is better for the environment to not get one if you really don’t need it? Even if it is raining, one book can be put under a coat or something else. Better yet take your own and reuse.

  • Don

    I hate Barnes and Noble Books – I used to shop at Borders and never had to pay an annual fee to shop and get a good price. The book sellers there in Borders loved books and it showed. B/N folks barely can be civil in serving customers. They want to know if I need a bag???
    Yes, this is a purchase I made and would like to protect it from the rain on my way to the car, duh! Too cheap to give a customer a bag, and I paid membership dues for this?

    • Lauren T

      It doesn’t make sense to hate on B&N for asking you if you want a bag! I appreciate that they ask, because I usually have my own bag. I appreciate that they are taking a small step in reducing excess waste and introducing less plastic into the environment. If you want a bag, you get a bag with or without a membership. Pretty great, huh?

  • Janet McChesney

    Please don’t close the B&N stores!!!!!!!!!!!!!. I will never love an e-reader like I love books!!!


    Maybe this will bring back the Smaller more quant book stores that used to be.

    • William

      That seems to be a great sugjestion Chris. Hands on for those of us that helped biuld this country and its commerse. There are two divisions of this subject. Those that have been schooled in digitals, and those that fathered them.

  • Chris

    I do not like this! Fortunately for me, there are two B&Ns in my area – one is 15-25 mins away, the other 45 mins away. I don’t like it, because technology is not reliable. I’m an IT tech, and I’m around technology all the time. It doesn’t matter if it’s Windows/Apple or anything thing else – technology is NOT reliable. I love the paper books. It’s TANGIBLE. Technology is PARTLY tangible. I feel better having a physical medium – a book – that I can touch and turn the pages. Hopefully, they won’t close both of them. I don’t buy online. I like brick and mortar businesses. I don’t trust purchasing online. Please keep at least one of these two. I’d hate to drive an hour and a half or more to go to a Barnes and Noble. Unfortunately, my library doesn’t keep up with some of the material that they need to. They need more updated books in some parts of the library. Recently, I’ve mostly been going to B&N to get books for my career. But I could see myself getting books for a hobby or so (cooking and anything else).

  • http://yahoo connie

    I found after shopping at B and N that the prices are kind of pricey and you don’t get what you pay for. Will not shop there again until they lower their prices. Also, could not find an employee that could help you find anything you had to search the store yourself but, when ready to check out they were running to the cash register to get your money.

    • William

      Connie may have a legitimate point B@N. Are yopu listening

  • http://amacd1955.LiveJournal.com Allen

    Did ANYBODY read the article or did you all just react to the headline. B&N has been closing stores or relocating them for years at the rate of 15 per year. Now they propose to up that to 20 per year. If this move keeps B&N in business, then I applaud them. The headline should have said “B&N closing 5 more stores per year than before”. If they are losing money on a store then they either have a management problem or they just got bypassed by the buyers. They are not in business to let a very selected few have a convenient bookstore. Meanwhile, if there is truly a need, someone will open a smaller book store.

  • Roger

    Understandably, the business model needs to make sense to keep stores open. The interesting thing is that I go to the local BN store, find the book I want, then buy it from the BN website, even if it is cheaper elsewhere. If my local store is closed, it unlikely that I would purchase from BN website, but rather try to find it cheaper elsewhere.

    • Bee

      … Why would you do that? I’m just trying to understand your logic. Why would you go to your local BN, find books you want, and then buy it from the website. You end up paying MORE for shipping and handling, and you’re not supporting your local BN. That doesn’t even make a little sense.

      • mac

        Agree with you Bee. When you find the books that you want at your local B&N, just go to the customer service desk and have them order for you and have sent to your home. You pay that day at the register and the store gets the credit for the sale and you still get the online price. Helps your local store stay in business!

  • Yesica

    I hope they do something to keep actual books around. It’s not the same reading it from a screen.

  • http://none Carol Moore

    Please keep your stores open! It’s one of only enjoyments I have for a date night with my hubby and grandson of going to your store in Holyoke, Ma. We live in Vt. We love going out together to get real books to read. Screens to not bring us closer to family. Sitting together with books is our FUN!!!

  • kelsey

    this makes me so sad! I hope barnes and noble isnt going anywhere in my area. I used to use my kindle for a while and i still read a book with kindle app sometimes on my phone or computer. But most times I just want a book i can feel and touch! It makes such a difference to me I dont know why. Obviously with traveling a kindle is easier but at home I love my books and I have a big bookshelf I look at everyday where I keep them and it makes me happy. I feel also that Barnes and Noble is an experience. I go there for hours and get coffee and browse the books and then finally get one or two but its just not that fun on a kindle. I just love the environment of Barnes and Nobles. And also I get kindle books are cheaper but I just think its easier to have a hard copy so you can let friends borrow it or reference something real quick or if something happens like the power goes out you still have a book!