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Book World to close all its stores and liquidate inventory

1 November 2017

From the Brainerd Dispatch:

Book lovers in the Brainerd area are likely to shed a tear at Tuesday’s announcement by Book World Inc.—it is closing all its stores because of poor sales and online competition.

The Appleton, Wis.-based company will liquidate all its inventory starting Thursday in an “everything-must-go” sale at all of its 45 locations across seven states, including the one in Baxter.

“We anticipate that running at least through the end of the year … into January, but that’s really contingent on inventory—and certainly staffing plays a part in that, too—but primarily inventory,” said Book World Senior Vice President Mark Dupont.

The family-owned independent chain of bookstores located throughout Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota and Missouri offers a huge selection of books for all ages.

. . . .

“Everything in our stores, we’re trying to sell—all inventory, fixtures, anything essentially, obviously—and then we’re going to wind down operations at our corporate office and that will be the end … after 40 years.”

The liquidation sale will offer customers “deep discounts” on books, toys, games, puzzles, magazines, calendars, trading cards, gifts and other merchandise. Customers are encouraged to shop immediately to take advantage of the sale while inventory is still available.

“The bulk of the change has been in 2017. Sales are down at an extraordinary high rate compared to the past. We’re seeing other retailers fall. We hear stories in the national news all the time,” Dupont said.

“It seems like brick-and-mortar stores—and hopefully I’m wrong—to some degree they are becoming an antiquated way to sell goods. And again you know no one wants to hear that if you work in retail, but we’re seeing that.”

Link to the rest at the Brainerd Dispatch and thanks to Dave for the tip.

Dave thoughtfully provided related tip.

From TMJ4:

Book World announced Tuesday it is closing all 45 of its bookstores across seven states.

The company has 320 employees across all stores and its corporate headquarters in Appleton, according to Mark Dupont, senior vice president.

. . . .

Book World has stores in Wisconsin, Michigan, Minnesota, Illinois, Iowa, North Dakota and Missouri.

. . . .

Book World opened its first store in 1976 in Rhinelander and is currently the fourth largest bookstore chain in the United States.

Link to the rest at TMJ4



5 Comments to “Book World to close all its stores and liquidate inventory”

  1. As is often the case, they can’t quite seem to keep their story straight…

    “The bulk of the change has been in 2017. Sales are down at an extraordinary high rate compared to the past.

    The national shift in the retail marketplace towards e-commerce [is] reducing sales to a level that will no longer sustain business operations, according to Dupont.

    “We’ve seen just about in every location downward sales trends … and we don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, so we made the decision to pull the plug after 40 years,” Dupont said.

    and yet…

    “We still have plenty of profitable stores … but Book World as a whole can no longer sustain the business,” Dupont said.

  2. “You know, those 45 stores, they’re sitting there with inventory on the shelves, that’s practically the same as warehouses.”


    “Why don’t we hire one of those internet companies to set up a web storefront and couple our inventory database to it, and then we could mail books directly to customers from our stores?”

    “We’re not in the internet business. We’re in the bookstore business.”

    “No! We sell on the internet too!”

    “No! Because Amazon! And we’ve always done it this way. Now go away before you get “right-sized.”

  3. Book World saved my childhood in my small town in Wisconsin. It had all the fantasy/sci-fi I could devour. My folks were good about letting me buy after I went through what the library had. RIP, Book World. You’ll be sorely missed. And never mind the snark. You were good people to people who needed you back before Amazon.

  4. I’m sorry to hear this. My husband is from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, and went to school at Michigan Tech. I’ve been in two or three of the Book Worlds, and they’re the very image of the cozy, small-town bookstore, personal and personable.

    Oddly enough, the ones I’ve been to have been free-standing stores, not mall operations. One’s in a college town, Houghton, MI, the home of Michigan Tech; the other in a tourist town, St. Ignace, MI, and positioned right across the street from Lake Superior.

    And did anyone else notice that Book World, with 45 stores, is the FOURTH LARGEST BOOKSTORE CHAIN IN THE UNITED STATES? Great googley-moogley!

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