Barnes & Noble has closed approximately 500 of its 620 stores at this point in the coronavirus crisis, a company spokesperson told us on Friday, and the remainder are open. Curbside pick-up is being offered at as many stores as possible, the spokesperson said. BN.com is also taking and shipping orders.
The continuing operations at 20% or more of the chain’s stores in the U.S., which sell graphic novels, hobby games, merch, and other geek categories, is one aspect of continuing sales in the book channel. Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt told PW a couple of weeks ago that sales in the initial days of social distancing had actually increased (see “Are Game and Comic Stores ‘Essential’ Businesses?”). Mass merchants have all their stores open, serving as grocery stores in addition to their other categories.
Books-A-Million is also continuing to operate some stores, although the company did not respond to a request for a count. Employees concerned over safety were posting on a Reddit thread about their worries last week.