The 2001 book retailing shakeout continues. This week's news comes from Rizzoli Bookstores, which until recently had more than a dozen stores in the U.S. and managed the AIA Bookstore in Washington, D.C. The company, which specializes in books and related products on art, architecture, photography and design, is closing all but its flagship 57th St. New York City store, according to industry sources.
Two weeks ago, Rizzoli closed its Santa Monica, Calif., store. The SoHo store in New York City is scheduled to close on May 20, and the Pasadena, Calif., store will shut on June 30. Other recent closings have included the Chicago, Boston, Williamsburg, Va., and Philadelphia stores, as well as the Rizzoli in the World Financial Center in lower Manhattan. Sources say the plan is to have only four stores by Christmas.
Rizzoli Bookstores, which began managing the American Institute of Architects Bookstore in the AIA National Headquarters Building in Washington, D.C., in 1997, gave up management of the store at the beginning of the year. The AIA is again operating the store. Manager Scott Rall told PW, "We continue to grow our stock and are a full-service retail store committed to customers and AIA members."
Rizzoli stores are elegant and either in high-end malls or fashionable urban shopping areas. With an average of 4,000 square feet of space, they feature cherry wood and marble floors; some have included the company's Art Boutiques, the gifts emporium. Others have coffee bars. Reportedly the decision to wind down the chain was made by the parent company, RCS Rizzoli, in Milan, Italy. Rizzoli is primarily a publisher and wants to focus on that business.