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Barnes & Noble To Close More Stores: Would You Miss The Ones Nearby?

Company announces it'll shut down 20 stores a year over the next decade.

Do you still shop at Barnes & Noble bookstores?

Apparently not enough people go to B&Ns nationwide.

Company executives told the Wall Street Journal they plan to close 20 stores a year over the next decade.

No specific stores have been targeted yet for closure.

In the Seattle area, there are about a dozen Barnes & Noble stores, including two in Bellevue – one downtown and one at Crossroads Bellevue shopping center, and stores in Woodinville, Issaquah and Lakewood.

If no new stores were opened, that would reduce the number of Barnes & Noble stores nationwide by a third, the Huffington Post reported.

Since 2003, the company has been closing 15 stores a year, but they've also been opening more than 30 a year.

Last year, however, Barnes & Noble closed 14 stores and didn't open any, the Huffington Post reported.

One reason is a steady decline in book sales. Print book sales have decreased 22 percent over the past five years, according to Nielsen BookScan.

If your Barnes & Noble closed, would you miss it? How can bookstores compete more effectively in this electronic age? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

Louise Marley January 29, 2013 at 05:33 PM
As both a writer (novelist) and reader, this issue has direct bearing on my future. I would, of course, miss B & N, and will miss the one closing in the University District in Seattle. I nourish this faint hope that the closing of so many big box bookstores (gosh, that's a lot of Bs) might mean, as it has with some department stores, a resurgence of independent book stores. Where I can find such stores, they're great fun! I read a lot on my Kindle, but I've never lost my love of browsing the stacks, finding unexpected treasures, dipping into books that intrigue me. We can do this online, of course, and I do it all the time, both for fun and for research. If only we could have the little stores back, though: Puss 'n Books, Totem Books, other tiny gems. Parkplace Books has hung on, and we authors love it, both for its community-centered approach and its care for local writers. I hope everyone knows they can order anything for you if they don't have it in stock! And local book clubs depend on them to stock their choices. We need more like that store, and need people to patronize them. Amazon is easy, but impersonal. A real bookseller is, like watch repair folks, a vanishing breed.

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