Barnes & Noble, which will unveil its new 55,000-square-foot store in New York today, is downsizing its overall expansion plans for the year, The Wall Street Journal reports. The New York-based bookseller has just 15 new superstores in its construction pipeline for this year, down from the previously planned 35. B&N will also close 15 underperforming superstores this year, up from the planned five.
In addition to slowing book sales in the current economic downturn, B&N’s expansion plans are also being impacted by developers halting their building plans. “The lion’s share of [construction] projects in which we thought we’d have stores won’t be built,” coo Mitchell Klipper told The Journal. “We haven’t seen such a lack of new projects in 20 years.”
Most of the chain’s new stores this year replace older, existing properties, including the new Manhattan store, which takes the place of two nearby stores.