Family Christian Stores, which sold books and other religious merchandise, folded its 40 stores last year, not long after Hastings Entertainment declared bankruptcy and then shuttered its 123 stores selling books, music and video games.A local resale store, Something About a Book on 17th Street, liquidated last summer and quite literally gave its entire collection away to anyone who would help carry it out.There’s nothing in the public records that gives us a glimpse of why Books-A-Million left.But the timeline suggests that either Pet Smart was looking for a way into Sarasota Pavilion or Books-A-Million was ready to get out. That’s a high profile, consistently busy shopping center.Those issues, coupled with disappointing holiday sales, means liquidation of all stores is a strong possibility.The report cites anonymous sources close to the company.
But the book industry as a whole has been taking hits for more than a decade.
The mass of people who came to the store in its final days proved consumers are still interested in books, but national retail reports have consistently shown they’re not as willing to pay for them as they once were. Bookstores have been feeling that decline for years.
Documents filed with the county show that Petsmart signed its lease in September, not long before Books-A-Million started selling off its stock.
She told me Pet Smart is headed for the bookseller’s former anchor space, but she didn’t comment on why BAM left.
Even so, it’s pretty easy to guess what might have happened here.