Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Bookstore Timeline

I'm going to try something different today. A timeline of sorts.

"In 1993, the American Booksellers Association (ABA) had 4,700 member stores." (Source: Huffington Post)

"Jeff Bezos founded, Inc. in 1994 and launched it online in 1995." (Wikipedia)

"By 1995, Wal-Mart had 1,995 discount stores, 239 Supercenters, 433 Sam's Clubs and 276 international stores with sales at $93.6 billion ..." (Wikipedia)

"Founded in 1995 by two couples from Victoria, went live in 1996 and immediately began to transform the world’s used book business by making hard-to-find books easy to locate and purchase." (

"A lawsuit filed [in March, 1998] ... by the American Booksellers Association and 23 independent bookstores alleg[ed] that [Barnes & Noble and Borders took] ... unfair advantage of their market dominance to exact discounts from publishers." (Wired)

In 2000, the ABA reported the number of its member stores as 2,794 (Publishers Marketplace)

"Amazon persevered, and finally turned its first profit in the fourth quarter of 2001: $5 million, just 1¢ per share, on revenues of more than $1 billion ..." (Wikipedia)

In April 2001, discouraged by the capital costs of setting up an online website, the former CEO of Borders made the decision to turn the company's Internet business over to Amazon to run. (Maya's blog)

In 2001, the ABA reported the number of its member stores as 2,191 (Publishers Marketplace)

In October, 2003, " unveil[ed] a new technology called 'Search Inside the Book' that allows consumers to preview text of 120,000 books." (Seattle P-I)

In 2003, the ABA reported the number of its member stores at 1,908 (Publishers Marketplace)

"When Google announced in December 2004 that it would digitally scan the books of five major research libraries to make their contents searchable, the promise of a universal library was resurrected." (New York Times)

"In March 2007, Borders Group announced it would scale down the number of Waldenbooks outlets it had by half, to about 300, in the next year." (Wikipedia)

In 2007, the ABA reported the number of its member stores at 1,580 (Publishers Marketplace)

On March 19, 2009, Barnes & Noble held their Fourth Quarter earnings conference call. "Comparable stores sales declined 7.3% for the quarter ... Store traffic was down throughout the quarter ... For the full year comparable sales at Barnes & Noble stores declined 5.4% ... Sales at were ... a 1.3% comparable decline compared to last year’s 13.4% increase." (Seeking Alpha)

In 2009, the ABA reported the number of its member stores at 1,401 (Publishers Marketplace)

On Sunday, May 23, 2010, Publishers Marketplace reported:
But this year, for the first time since we've been following the numbers, the [ABA] actually gained members--nine to be exact--with 1,410 registered stores. (That gain does not necessarily reflect a change in the entire store landscape, since not all independent bookstores are members of the national organization.)


India Drummond said...

I suppose this is why English majors should be required to take at least one math class?

Maya Reynolds said...

India: And maybe one history class.