Barnes & Noble expects to close as many as a third of its retail stores over the next decade. CEO Mitchell Klipper said, “In 10 years, we’ll have 450 to 500 stores.” As of Jan. 23, the company was operating 689 retail stores. Klipper expects the company to close about 20 stores per year over the period. The company closed an average of 15 stores per year over the past decade, but until 2009, it was also opening about 30 stores per year. The company’s bookstores peaked at 726 in 2008. “You have to adjust your overhead, and get smart with smart systems,” Klipper said. “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.”
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