Report: 400 More Bookstores to Close By Year End

Posted on August 31, 2009

You can should expect an avalanche of bookstore closings this year. A new report from Grant Thornton report says 10,000 retail stores will have closed by the end of 2009. Of that number, 400 will be bookstores, which is a 500% increase in bookstore closings since last year.

Bookstores are just part of the ugly retail picture, as consumers have put the brakes on spending. The article says clothing stores and electronic stores will make up most of the 10,000 stores expected to close their doors for good before the end of the year.

Sandra Reese, a principal at Grant Thornton LLP's offices in Chicago, told the Chicago Sun Times, "It's been amazing to me how, in conversations, everyone from the low-end to the high-end shopper is cutting back on spending and not spending on lavish purchases."

With the rise of electronic books the opportunity for these bricks-and-mortar bookstores to reopen after the recession seems unlikely. Some specialty bookstores should always find customers, but most bookstores may struggle unless in our digital future. Unless bookstores can find a way to profit from the sale of ebook readers many of them may also face a bleak future.

As consumers cut back on entertainment purchases, books sales continue to decline. But it's not that people aren't reading. Library attendance is way up, according to overworked and underpaid librarians.