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Old 06-30-2020, 11:01 AM   #129
fjtorres
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John F View Post
Sorry for the late response...

Depending on the definition of rare and biggest.

I was under the impression that there were a lot of bookstores in big, medium and even smaller (as well as biggest) cities. The mega bookstores and Amazon may have reduced this, but they were/are there.

For example, doing a Google on bookstores for my state (CT) I get a 180 hits, many (more than a few, less than a lot) of which are not in the biggest.
Yes, it depends on the definition.
But we are talking about B&N, so:

How many of those are full, new release and backlist commercial book stores?
How many are newstands and airport shops?
How many are rare book or used paperback shops?
How many are college stores?
How many are religious stores?
How many are art supply stores or gift shops?

If you're going by the ABA listings, they include all of the above.

As I recently saw somebody point out on the same topic: how many of those are likely to carry Harry Potter? Patterson? Tolkien?

Speaking of the ABA:

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amer...rs_Association

Quote:

The ABA's membership has varied over time:

1991 — 5,200 members[4]
1995 — 5,500 members with 7000 stores[5]
1998 — 3,300 members[4]
2000 — 3,100 members with 4000 stores[5]
2001 — 2,794 members[6]
2002 — 2,191 members[6]
2005 — 1,702 members,[7] "more than 90" member bookstores opened[8]
2006 — 97 member bookstores opened[8]
2007 — 115 member bookstores opened[9]
2008 — ABA published no data
2009 — 1,401 members[10] with 1,651 stores,[11] 40 member bookstores opened,[12] 26 of which were listed by Google Maps as "permanently closed" in December 2018.
2010 — 1,410 members, first increase in almost two decades.[10] 26 member bookstores opened,[13] 14 of which were listed as "permanently closed" on Google Maps as of December 2018.
2011 — 1,512 members with stores in 1823 locations,[14] 41 member bookstores opened,[15] Used bookstores are now eligible for membership, annual dues of smaller stores are lowered.[16]
2012 — 1,567 members with stores in 1,900 locations,[17] 43 member bookstores opened[18], 17 of which were listed as "permanently closed" on Google Maps in December 2018.
2013 — 1,632 members with stores in 1,971 locations,[19] 45 member bookstores opened[20], 16 of which were listed as "permanently closed" on Google Maps in December 2018.
2014 — 1,664 members with stores in 2,094 locations,[11] 59 member bookstores opened[21], 15 of which were no longer members and listed as "permanently closed" on Google Maps in December 2018.
2015 — 1,712 members with stores in 2,227 locations,[11] 61 member bookstores opened[22], 14 of which were listed as "permanently closed" on Google Maps in December 2018, 3 others are marked "online only" in ABA's list.
2016 — 87 member bookstores opened[23]
2017 — 75 member bookstores opened[24]
2018 — 99 member bookstores opened[25]
2019 — 111 member bookstores opened[26]
Being generous and allowing for gift shops, art supply stores, etc, they can claim maybe 2500 locations. That is half their peak in 1995. Back then, the US had 263M population vs 333M today. So half the stores have gone away over one generation, while population grew by about a quarter.

Mainstream bookstores are maybe half the claimed number.

For contrast, there are 10,000 different sales tax jurisdictions which are a good enough proxy for number of total population centers/communities, no?

https://taxfoundation.org/state-sale...pproach-10000/

Or, you could go with the number of metropolitan areas of over 50,000 population. That is 500. Those smaller cities might be lucky to have one real bookstore.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List...es_urban_areas

Either way, considering how bookstores are concentrated in big metro areas, Daunt is correct, the US is "underbookstored". As he sees it.

But that is because people are spread out all over: the US ranks 177th in population density at 100 people per square mile versus the UK he is familiar with, at 51, and 726.

That is because 85% of the population in the top metro areas (>1M) resides in the suburbs and exurbs, not the city centers. And then there's the other 450 metro areas and the smaller towns and cities.

So yes, if you have in the bigger coastal cities you probably have no shortage of B&M bookstores. Chicago, too.

But for most of "flyover country" full service bookstores are not abundant and *never* have been. There just aren't enough readers within reasonable driving time. That is why Amazon book sales grew so big so fast.

And, as noted above in the Wikipedia ABA listing, the number is steadily going down. B&M bookstores are not, as a whole, a particularly profitable business.

Among the non-chain stores, breaking even is a triumph.

Last edited by fjtorres; 06-30-2020 at 11:10 AM.
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