June 25 – July 2, 2009 Edition

B&N New Store Cutbacks Hurt Publishers

Barnes & Noble, the nation's largest bookstore chain, has cut its annual new superstore openings from about 35 to 15, most of which will replace existing neighborhood branches. The company also will close 15 superstores this year, five more than earlier forecast, according to an item June 19 in The Wall Street Journal by Jeffrey A. Trachtenberg.

Some store openings have been affected by developers who have halted building plans, due to the inability to obtain financing. Mitchell Klipper, chief operating officer, told The Journal that the company hasn't seen such a lack of new projects in 20 years.

The slowdown in openings hurts already-beleaguered publishers who depend on new stores to help generate revenue growth. Small-format stores such as 51 B. Daltons are also disappearing. Typically, B&N opens about 25 or more new stores a year, ten of which are replacements. B&N has 726 stores compared to Borders Group, which operates 515 superstores and 376 Waldens.

See the complete story at The Wall Street Journal .