Sunday, September 11, 2011

Day 12: Summer’s Over, How Did Bookstores Do?

Clearly, 2011 will not be considered a stellar year for a wide swath of bookselling: Borders is in the midst of closing its remaining stores; Books-A-Million has had two disappointing quarters, and Barnes & Noble’s growth is coming primarily from e-books and the Nook, while print, as everywhere, declines. Newer independents have had trouble gaining traction, like five-year-old Red Fox Books in Glen Falls, N.Y., which closed last month. Some older indies have also ran into trouble. Thirty-six-year-old Atlantic Books, headquartered in Conshohocken, Pa., closed eight of its 12 stores, mostly in high-rent resort communities. It will continue to operate four year-round bookstores: one in South Jersey, two in Delaware, and one in suburban Philadelphia. “The major problem is there’s not enough margin to run these small chains anymore and pay the overhead,” said Atlantic co-owner Mark Simon.

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