Mitchel Klipper, head of Barnes & Noble's retail group, told the Wall Street Journal Monday that the popular book store will likely close between 450 and 500 stores by the end of 10 years and that the chain is looking to close about 20 stores per year in that time.
There are currently 689 Barnes & Noble locations open, not including the 674 college store locations nationwide. But the company has been closing stores on a regular basis for many years, mostly due to low profits or stores moving to better locations.
"We have historically closed approximately 15 stores per year for the past 10 years," spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said in a statement.
According to CNET, there were 726 Barnes & Noble locations in 2008; however, the chain also added 30 new locations in that time. In the current fiscal year, Barnes & Noble has opened just two stores.
Now the company credits the influx of e-book readers and tablets as why they have continued to shrink their retail presence, according to the business website.
Even at a smaller scale, Barnes & Noble continues to work on ideas to keep its brand relevant.
The two stores opened in 2012 offer a prototype for a new project the brand is undertaking. The Wall Street Journal reports that it will be working with other prototypes throughout 2013.
"The company's management is fully committed to the retail concept for the long term," Keating said.
Barnes & Noble remains the largest traditional U.S. bookstore in the country.