Barnes & Noble closing more stores

Kodak version 2.0?

Barnes & Noble expects to close as many as a third of its retail stores in the next decade, according to CEO Mitchell Klipper. He said, “in 10 years we‘ll have 450 to 500 stores.” Currently the company has 689 retail stores with a separate chain of 674 college stores.

It has closed an average of 15 stores a year over the past decade, but up until 2009, this was more than offset by an average of 30 new stores. However, a recent transition to e-readers has kept readers out of traditional brick and mortar stores, leading Barnes & noble to open only two stores in its current fiscal year.

In an effort to respond to the shift to digital reading, Barnes & Noble launched the Nook e-reader; although it has struggled to compete with Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle as well as offerings from Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG), with sales falling this holiday season from a year earlier.

Klipper believes that even with 450 to 500 traditional stores the company has a “good business model” noting that you have to “adjust your overhead and get smart with smart systems. Is it what it used to be when you were opening 80 stores a year and dropping stores everywhere? Probably not. It‘s different. But every business evolves."

Barnes & Noble (BKS : NYSE : US$13.02), Net Change: -0.15, % Change: -1.14%, Volume: 1,206,233

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