BIRMINGHAM, Alabama -- Barnes & Noble Inc., which has seven stores in Alabama including two in metro Birmingham, is planning to shutter up to a third of its stores over the next 10 years, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal. (Subscription required)
In an interview with the Journal, Barnes & Noble CEO Mitchell Klipper said the company will have 450 to 500 stores in a decade, down from 689 at the beginning of this year. The company also operates about 700 college bookstores nationwide, including 17 in Alabama.
Klipper also defended the bricks-and-mortar bookstore model.
"Is it what it used to be when you were opening 80 stores a year and dropping stores everywhere?" he said. "Probably not. It's different. But every business evolves."
Barnes & Noble stock was trading at $13 a share at mid-afternoon, which is about half its 52-week high. The stock trades on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol "BKS."