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