Home > Uncategorized > Toronto Store Closing Brings Total to Eight; LA Retailer Bucking The Trend

Toronto Store Closing Brings Total to Eight; LA Retailer Bucking The Trend

While Christian stores continue to struggle, the record of store closings in Toronto in just a little over three years shows that the general market is equally hurting.  John Goddard’s article in the Business section of The Toronto Star focused on the closing of one of the five Book City locations, but also contained this sidebar showing the recent casualties within the city limits:

2012 – Books for Business, off Bay St. on Adelaide St. W., in the financial district; The Book Mark, on Bloor St. W. in Etobicoke; [and Book City in Bloor West Village];

2011 – The Flying Dragon, children’s bookstore, Leaside.

2010 – This Ain’t the Rosedale Library.

2009 – Pages Books, Queen St. W.; David Mirvish Books, Markham St.; McNally Robinson Booksellers, Don Mills.

The article went on to describe the Book City closing:

“Physical retail stores for media — books, music and video — are becoming increasingly unviable,” owner Sean Neville said.

Book City’s decision to close one of its five locations coincides with the company’s move to expand its product line at the remaining stores, Donker said.

“We need stores that have enough square footage for us to be able to add something new without hurting our selection of books,” he said. “We’re looking for a few things to take over for the small decline that’s happened because of ebooks, online sales, that type of thing.”

The 1,000 square feet or so at the Bloor West Village location offered too little room to accommodate expanded inventory, which so far includes greeting cards and toys, he said.

But before we become too hasty, there’s this story about an entrepreneur who is swimming against the tide:

In the past few decades, the publishing industry has gone through drastic changes: large chain bookstores have pushed out independent bookstores, and now digital book retailers and ebooks have pushed out the chains.

But Josh Spencer is turning back the clock. A former online book seller, Spencer now owns a 10,000-square-foot used bookstore in downtown Los Angeles, aptly named The Last Bookstore.

On the corner of 5th and Spring streets, The Last Bookstore is a book-lover’s paradise with a large cavernous space, a hushed atmosphere, comfy couches, and, of course, rows and rows of books. Formerly a bank that opened in 1915, the building boasts tall columns and antique furnishings that give the space a nostalgic air, while murals and sculptures – one made completely of books suspended on wires – add a more modern feel. The store also features a section of used records and a small coffee bar.

Spencer, who sold books online for the last 12 years, said he was approached in 2006 about creating a physical bookstore in downtown LA. Three years later, Spencer opened a small store on Main St. and soon had more books than the few shelves would hold. Spencer and his employees found the current space and opened the store in June.

…continue reading this story at World California…

If it’s true that trends move from west to east, The Last Bookstore might not be last after all.

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