QR-big-box-ad
CLS_bigbox

Are Bookstores A Thing of the Past?


Potential Closure of the World’s Biggest Bookstore

Image Courtesy of: torontolife.com

By Megan Harris, Staff Writer

The year 2012 might bring shocking news to book lovers of Toronto-the closure of the iconic, World’s Biggest Bookstore.

Owned by Indigo, the World’s Biggest Bookstore is a 64,000 square feet space that includes nearly 20 kilometers in bookshelves. Although the store doesn’t feature the small bookshop charm, it’s definitely become a popular fixture of downtown Toronto.

But with its lease expiring in December 2013, Toronto Life reports that Indigo is, “seeking a significant reduction in the annual rent of roughly $1.5 million dollars” and that the building’s owners are looking to find another tenant. And given its excellent location in downtown Toronto, finding a profitable new tenant wouldn’t be a difficult task.

“The existence of a large retail space like this, just steps from Yonge and Dundas is the hen’s tooth of all hen’s teeth – incredibly rare,” broker Stuart Smith, vice-president of the urban retail group for the commercial real estate company CB Richard Ellis, told the Toronto Star recently. “I’ve had the biggest of the big [retailers] looking at it from all over the world.”  [pullquote]In today’s economy, it seems that people still love bookstores and the atmosphere they provide, but not enough to generate revenues to support the increasing costs of running a business.[/pullquote]

It’s not the first time a beloved bookstore has closed in Toronto. Take Pages Books and Magazines on Queen Street, which closed in 2009 after rent became too expensive. There’s also The Book Mark, Toronto’s oldest independent bookstore after opening in 1965, which closed this past January due to high rent and property tax costs. The Flying Dragon bookstore in Toronto’s Leaside neighbourhood also announced its plans to shut down last May, days after being named Specialty Bookseller of the Year by the Canadian Booksellers Association.

The list of bookstores closing in Toronto – and even across Canada – could go on and on. In today’s economy, it seems that people still love bookstores and the atmosphere they provide, but not enough to generate revenues to support the increasing costs of running a business. A lot of blame is placed on the increasing popularity of e-books. Last year, online retailer Amazon announced it was selling more e-books than hardcover and paperbacks combined.


And while it’s true that e-books are more convenient, more portable, and easier to bring on a commute to work, to name a few features – isn’t there something nice about picking up a real book? And exploring a bookstore to find a book?

It’s clear that not everyone is happy with the closure of bookstores. But can enough book-lovers fight for them to stay open before they disappear forever?

Sources:
Toronto Life
Globe and Mail
The Toronto Star 
CBC 

 

Show more