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Barnes & Noble Announces Plans to Shut 20 Stores Per Year

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Barnes & Noble’s top store executive Mitchell Klipper has told the Wall Street Journal (subscription required) that the company will be closing at least 20 stores a year over the next decade.

It isn’t a drastic change from the average of 15 annual store closings that have occurred since 2003, but usually these are offset by the opening of more than 30 per year. Last year, however, the chain closed 14 stores (including Manhattan’s Sixth Avenue location) without opening a single one.

According to the Huffington Post, revenue from the 2012 holiday shopping period was down 11% from the previous year, though the company still made $317 million in earnings last year. While it seems like this news could be a sign that the store will be going the way of its former competitor Borders, Klipper insists to Publishers Weekly that the company “is fully committed to the retail concept for the long term.”

So will our 7th Avenue location be part of this commitment, or is it on the chopping block? The company hasn’t made any announcements about specific locations, just general statements on keeping the branches that are successful and losing the ones that aren’t. Though the store has seen some author visits, as well as the recurring poetry night with Ken Siegelman, it’s easy to forget in comparison with the activity of Community Bookstore, especially in recent collaborations with CBE and PS 321.

How do you guys feel about it? Do you support the chain? Enjoy the cafe & free WiFi? Would you miss it if it left?

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