Jan. 28, 2013 at 11:52 AM ET
Struggling bookstore chain Barnes & Noble plans to close a slew of stores over the next decade, its chief executive told the Wall Street Journal.
In an interview conducted last week, but published in the WSJ on Monday, Mitchell Klipper said Barnes & Noble would likely have 450 to 500 stores in 10 years, down from 689 retail stores now. The company also runs a separate chain of 674 college stores, according to the WSJ.
The rate of closures is not that different from the past decade. The difference is that Barnes & Noble had been opening more stores than it was closing until about three years ago.
The shutdowns outlined by Klipper mean an average of about 20 stores a year would close, up from about 15 stores a year over the past 10 years, the WSJ said, adding that up until 2009 it was also opening about 30 stores a year.
Earlier this month, the bookseller reported a 10.9 percent decline in revenues at its retail segment over the nine-week 2012 holiday season versus the prior year. Much of that decline, 8.2 percent, came from sales at stores open less than a year, store closures and lower online sales.