published Wednesday, September 28th, 2011

Books-A-Million closes Hamilton Place site, says others unaffected

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    Janie Thomas peers into the closed Books-A-Million store on Gunbarrel Road on Tuesday. The bookstore closed its doors on Tuesday morning.
    Photo by Jake Daniels.
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Books-A-Million has closed its store near Hamilton Place mall, but the Alabama-based retailer put up signs at the shuttered outlet to assure consumers that the cutbacks at Books-A-Million are not as extensive as other book retailers.

A sign hanging over the Gunbarrel Road store shut down Saturday night indicates that the closing is for "this store only." Other Books-A-Million stores elsewhere in the market in Hixson, Cleveland and Dalton, Ga., remain open along with most of the chain's 232 stores.

According to recent news reports, the Chattanooga store is among at least five Books-A-Million outlets closed in the past two months after the retailer reported that same-store sales in the first half of 2011 were down 13.1 percent from a year ago.

Books-A-Million managers in Chattanooga declined to discuss the closings. But company CEO Clyde Anderson blamed the company's sales decline on "a soft publishing lineup, the effect of e-book migration and the impact of Border's liquidation."

With the bankruptcy liquidation this summer of Border's bookstores, Books-A-Million now is the second largest bookstore chain behind only Barnes & Noble.

Book stores continue to be squeezed by online competitors like Amazon, e-readers like the Kindle and iPad and the overall decline in book sales. Book sales fell nearly 5 percent in 2010 to 717.8 million from 751.7 million last year, according to Nielsen data.

Rock Point Books, an independent book store, closed its downtown Chattanooga store last December.

"The saddest part of it is that we are losing the culture of the independent bookstore and all the things that go with it," said Albert Waterhouse, one of the former owners of Rock Point Books.

"From an economic impact standpoint, the money spent with any online retailer doesn't stay in the local market, which affects tax collections and job growth," he said.

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about Dave Flessner...

Dave Flessner is the business editor for the Times Free Press. A journalist for 35 years, Dave has been business editor and projects editor for the Chattanooga Times Free Press, city editor for The Chattanooga Times, business and county reporter for the Chattanooga Times, correspondent for the Lansing State Journal and Ingham County News in Michigan, staff writer for the Hastings Daily Tribune in Nebraska, and news director for WCBN-FM in Michigan. Dave, a native ...

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Beamis said...

I won't miss this store and am glad to see the changes that are occurring in the book selling landscape. It's better for the consumer and I don't care a whit about tax collections and job growth. ADAPT OR PERISH!

Capitalism rocks!

September 28, 2011 at 4:02 p.m.
HannaBeckman said...

For once I agree with you Beamis

September 28, 2011 at 5:08 p.m.
NorthChatter said...

You can still get new and used books downtown at Winder Binder Gallery & Bookstore (formerly A Novel Idea). About 35% of the books are new (the rest being used and antiquarian)...including a great selection of local authors and local interest. Over on the NorthShore, near the end of the Walnut St Bridge

September 28, 2011 at 5:14 p.m.
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