Barnes & Noble plans to reduce outlets over the decade - WSJ

Mon Jan 28, 2013 12:26am EST

Jan 28 (Reuters) - Barnes & Noble Inc expects to shut down as many as a third of its retail stores over the next decade, Mitchell Klipper, chief executive of the company's retail group, told the Wall Street Journal in an interview.

"In 10 years we'll have 450 to 500 stores," Klipper told the Journal. The company had 689 retail stores as of Jan. 23, along with a separate chain of 674 college stores.

Even with 450 to 500 stores, "it's a good business model," Klipper told the WSJ.

"You have to adjust your overhead, and get smart with smart systems. Is it what it used to be when you were opening 80 stores a year and dropping stores everywhere? Probably not. It's different. But every business evolves," Klipper said.

Barnes & Noble, which had enjoyed a sales bump after one-time rival Borders Group liquidated in 2011, reported a 10.9 percent decrease in sales at its bookstores and on its website over the holiday period.

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