Customer Deborah Lease of Oxford was sad to learn of the closing as she shopped the store on Monday, Feb. 17. She said she visits Books-A-Million at Bridgewater Falls maybe five times a year.
“It’s always sad when a book store closes,” said Lease, a schoolteacher for the Talawanda School District. “It’s just that act of going into a bookstore and touching the books and perusing… it’s that personal choice.”
“It’s changed,” Lease said. “It’s all the Internet now instead of going to book stores.”
The national book store operator is facing financial challenges, reporting a growing net loss in its most recent earnings report. For the first three quarters of the company’s fiscal year ending Nov. 2, 2013, Books-A-Million had a net loss of $19.75 million, compared to negative earnings of $5.6 million the same time period the year before.
In a conference call last November to discuss financial results, an investor asked whether the company would accelerate the downsizing of the bookstore business or stick with a strategy to keep open stores that had positive cash flow. Books-A-Million Chief Financial Officer R. Todd Noden responded that stores were still being evaluated based on cash flow.
“We evaluate that cash flow performance of those stores, and we also look and have various new opportunities and we’ll evaluate those. And based on their cash flow performance and their return on investment, we’ll make a decision that we feel is in the best interest of the shareholders,” Noden told investors in the Nov. 26 conference call.
Books-A-Million also operates stores under the names Books & Company and 2nd & Charles. A manager at the Beavercreek Books & Co. said their store at The Greene shopping center is not slated to close. Also, the manager of a 2nd & Charles location in Kettering’s Town & Country Shopping Center said their store will remain open as well.