New Wiley Execs Named

With three of its top executives nearing retirement, John Wiley has announced succession plans for Stephen Kippur, Eric Swanson and Bonnie Lieberman. Kippur will retire as president of the professional/trade group on July 31, 2010, and will be replaced by Mark Allin; Swanson will step down as senior v-p of the STMS group on October 31, 2010, to be replaced by Steven Miron; and Lieberman will retire on April 30, 2011, as senior v-p and general manager of the higher education group, to be succeeded by Joseph Heider. All three newly appointed executives come from within Wiley.

August Bookstore Sales Tick Up

Bookstore sales rose $1 million in August over August 2008, an increase of less than 0.5%. Total sales for the month were $2.4 billion. With the inclusion of sales from college bookstores, sales in August were the largest for 2009 to date. Through the first seven months of 2009, bookstore sales were down 2.0%, to $10.92 billion. For the entire retail segment, sales were down 6.5% in August and off 10.1% for the first seven months of 2009.

B&N Reader Due; Dalton Closing

While Barnes & Noble is expected to introduce a new digital reading device at an October 20 press conference, the retailer is in the process of closing its remaining Dalton outlets. Dalton was the backbone of B&N before it started opening superstores, but the company has been steadily closing stores under that brand for eight years, shutting 35 to 50 annually. There are about 30 Dalton stores remaining and all will be closed by January 31.

Online Price War

By introducing same-day delivery in seven major cities and expanding its Saturday delivery options, Amazon fired the latest volley in the pricing war with Wal-Mart that broke out last Thursday, when cut the price of its top 10 pre-pub titles to $10 (which includes free shipping). Amazon followed suit, and then both retailers dropped pricing on those 10 titles down to $9. With Amazon's announcement that it will begin offering same-day delivery in Baltimore, Boston, Las Vegas, Philadelphia, Seattle and Washington, D.C., in addition to New York, the next move is Wal-Mart's.