McNally-Robinson Booksellers has been forced to close two of its bookstores. This, after being named bookseller of the year for 2009. Yes, 2009. This year.
Sure, the independent retailer faces stiff competition from what McNally calls the reckless discounting of the big box stores (and I agree with him) but was opening two stores this year a great business move? Did they even research whether their formula of nightly writer chats that worked well in Winnipeg would work in Toronto -- a market where even Lawrence Hill couldn't muster more than half-a-dozen readers?
The good news is that two of McNally-Robinson's stores remain open. I hope they are able to rally from this setback and carry on in the face of the large discount stores.
The Globe and Mail article is here.