Much-admired Canadian indie McNally Robinson Booksellers has entered bankruptcy and will close two of its four stores immediately: one in Polo Park in Winnipeg and their Toronto store in the new Shops at Don Mills mall. 170 of the bookseller’s 425 full- and part-time employees will lose their jobs as result.
Co-owner Paul McNally says that as long as the company’s bankruptcy plan is approved the other two stories, in Winnipeg and Saskatoon, will remain open. “They make money,” he said. “They have a loyal following,” while the other two “new stores absolutely did not perform.” The Winnipeg Free Press says, “If all goes well, he said, a smaller company comprising the e-commerce website www.mcnallyrobinson.com and the wholesale division Skylight Books, as well as the two surviving stores, will emerge from bankruptcy protection.”
New York’s McNally Jackson is a separate enterprise, independent of the Canadian company.
An LA Times article looks at how local small business owners remain braced for another challenging year ahead. Eso Won Bookstore co-owner James Fugate will shift his inventory mix “to more bargain-priced books when restocking his shelves” since “too much money is tied up in the slow-moving backlist.” He says “a lot of the history that we built our store on, that stuff has got to go.” The store plans to destock with a sale in January or February and use the cash to pay overdue bills and selectively replenish the shelves.
Northshire Bookstore is ready to recommend a February 5 release as one of the 2010’s top books: “I also predict that Union Atlantic, by Adam Haslett will be one of the most critically acclaimed novels of the year…. Haslett’s first novel, is set in the Boston area in 2002 and brilliantly foretells our current financial crisis while intertwining the lives of some of the most interesting characters I have read recently.”