business news in context, analysis with attitude

by Kevin Coupe

Quartz reports that Book World - described as a 40-year-old midwestern chain with 45 stores in seven states - is closing all of its stores. The liquidation is expected to be completed by January.

The story says that “Book World simply couldn’t survive the popularity of e-commerce. And shopping malls, where many Book Worlds are located, are losing to Amazon. So as the store lost its own book-loving customers to online shopping, it also missed out on potential ones passing the store.”

While the independent bookstore business has seen a resurgence in recent years, Quartz notes that this has happened largely in more urban markets, not in the kinds of medium-sized book markets that Book World has served.

In essence, Book World found itself at the center of a kind of commercial black hole - selling products that were not unique to its stores, largely in locations being abandoned by shoppers, competing against better funded and more nimble entities.

A black hole, indeed … though when you think about it, Book World probably has a lot of company there.

It is an Eye-Opener.
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