Barnes & Noble CEO Mitchell Klipper has revealed that the chain will close up to a third of its stores over the coming decade, according to the Wall Street Journal. Klipper made the revelation in an interview after word began to spread that the chain was closing stores (see "B&N Store Closings Accelerate"), and that its holiday sales were down (see "Barnes & Noble Holidays Down").
Klipper told the Journal that in ten years the chain would be at 450 to 500 stores, down from its current 689. That assumes a closing pace of around 20 stores a year. Excluding the defunct B. Dalton chain and its college stores, Barnes & Noble’s bookstore count peaked at 726 in 2008.
Klipper said that all but a handful of its stores are profitable, offsetting losses in the company’s Nook division, and that he expected consumers to read both digital and print books in the future.