Monday Morning Scoop - Barnes & Noble Planning Dozens Of New Stores In Biggest Expansion Since 2009

Barnes & Noble Planning Dozens Of New Stores In Biggest Expansion Since 2009

Bookseller Barnes & Noble plans to open about 30 new stores this year, nearly double the number it opened in 2022, when the company opened 17 new stores, the most in a single year since 2009.

This year’s total includes four stores that the company opened since the beginning of 2023. Most recently, Barnes & Noble opened a location at Danbury Fair Mall in Danbury, Connecticut, though that represented a move from another retail property in the same town.

The retailer, owned by British hedge fund Elliott Advisors UK since 2019, has enjoyed increasing sales recently, supported by significant expansion of the market for physical books, Chain Store Age reports.

Though the Census Bureau doesn’t break out bookstore sales as a separate category, it did report in March that year-over-year, sales at sporting goods, hobby, musical instrument and bookstores increased by 3%.

Barnes & Noble’s expansion is in contrast to the lean 2010s, when Amazon and other online sources ate into the chain’s sales, causing the company to rack up strings of quarterly losses. During that decade, the company only opened one or two new stores each year as it struggled.

That was also the decade when its major competitors, Borders and Book World Inc., went bankrupt and disappeared, leaving Barnes & Noble as the last large book chain standing in a diminished field.

Barnes & Noble is also revamping its membership program, which it hasn’t changed in decades, by creating a free program to go with its standard paid one.

By: Dees Stribling
Source: BisNow