Chapter 11, the chain of 13 discount bookstores located throughout Georgia, has been sold by its original co-owners, Barbara Babbit Kaufman and Dale Glenn, to Perry Tanner, a marketing professional and entrepreneur.
Tanner, a 20-year veteran of Scientific-Atlanta, a cable industry supplier, decided to purchase Chapter 11 after reassessing his life following September 11. With children aged 15, 12 and nine, and many years on the road for Scientific-Atlanta, he felt the need to spend more time at home. Tanner told PW, "I realized that I wanted to own a business where I once again could touch something and know the outcome, so I took early retirement and started looking around Atlanta for a business to buy. Chapter 11 immediately looked like an opportunity."
Tanner estimated that Chapter 11's 13 outlets represented 3% of the total number of Atlanta bookstores, but that the company was taking in about 25% of the book revenue. "They're in neighborhoods, not malls. There's brand awareness and a great relationship between customers and booksellers," Tanner said. And he believes "there's room for more Chapter 11s in Atlanta."
Ultimately, Tanner sees Chapter 11 competing with other mass market media, such as television and movies, rather than with other local booksellers. "The real competition is getting people to read and watch less TV," he said.