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By Jordan Crook

Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) has put up an excellent fight over the past few years against the rising tide of digital competitors like iPad, Kindle Fire, etc. But it would seem that the bookseller has still come up a bit short, as the Wall Street Journal reports that the company has plans to shut down nearly 20 stores per year over the course of the next decade.

Just last week, we learned that B&N had a rough holiday sales season with a 10.9% sales decrease over last year's holiday season. Barnes & Noble currently has around 689 retail stores in operation, but the cuts would eliminate around a third of those stores, leaving the total somewhere between 450 to 500 stores.

However, Barnes & Noble's Mitchell Klipper, who delivered the news to the WSJ, explains that less than 3% of B&N stores lose money. Still, shutting down stores is expected to strengthen B&N's hardware business, including the Nook HD and Nook HD+, which has been a growing focus at the company.

In the face of such a digital shift, it would appear that the bookseller expects its bricks-and-mortar business to become more and more of a liability over the coming years.

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Source: Barnes & Noble To Shutter One-Third Of Retail Stores Over The Next 10 Years