Barnes & Noble has reacted to an article in the Wall Street Journal that quotes B&N retail group CEO Mitchell Klipper as saying the bookstore chain will have 450 to 500 stores in 10 years by stressing that the company’s management “is fully committed to the retail concept for the long term.” A spokesperson noted that B&N has been closing about 15 stores annually for 10 years, a figure that includes a number of unprofitable stores as well as some relocations.
“The numbers reported today by the Wall Street Journal are consistent with analysts’ expectations,” the spokesperson said. B&N has cut back on store openings in part because developers are opening fewer malls as well as the impact of the sale of digital books .In the last 12 months, B&N closed or announced closing of such high profile outlets as New York City’s Greenwich Village on 8th Street, two outside of Dallas, and ones in Austin, Chicago, and Seattle. The closing of the B&N at Union Station in Washington, D.C., was much lamented. Then came a reprieve, which fell through; it will close at the end of next month.
In 2012 B&N opened two prototype stores and will test several other prototypes in the future. Currently B&N has 689 stores, the majority of which are profitable.