New York City Even with a store opening celebration under way Friday in Manhattan, Barnes & Noble said it will reduce its store openings for the rest of the year, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.
The chain’s original growth plans for 2009 included 35 new superstores. Instead, the chain will open 15 stores year, most replacing existing neighborhood branches, the report said.
Barnes & Noble also will close 15 superstores in 2009, five more than had previously been announced.
The chain said the real estate grind is due in large part to stalled shopping-center development plans. “The lion's share of [construction] projects in which we thought we'd have stores won't be built," Mitchell Klipper, COO, told WSJ. "We haven't seen such a lack of new projects in 20 years."
In a typical year, Barnes & Noble opens 25 new superstores, 10 of which are viewed as replacements.
The new Manhattan store, on the Upper East Side, is replacing two Barnes & Noble stores that had been located nearby.