Friday, November 07, 2008

Economic Downturn Shutters Dallas-area Indie

By Edward Nawotka -- Publishers Weekly, 11/7/2008 7:19:00 AM

David Norwood, owner of The Bookworm in Frisco, Tex. is closing his two-year old, 4,000 sq.-ft. bookstore immediately. “We were approaching the break even point, then the economy turned,” Norwood said. “The holiday season isn’t starting soon enough and we’re in too big of a hole.” Seven part-time employees will lose their jobs; Norwood plans to return to his former career in software development. “The return to the corporate world will be a welcome relief,” he said. “Running a bookstore is like having a double full-time job.”

On reflection, Norwood said has learned that he need not have opened such a large store. “We could have gotten by being a bit smaller, therefore paying less rent and utilities,” he said. “The bulk of the business was in relatively new releases, not bestsellers necessarily, and fans of particular authors who were content to let us special order for them. The amount of inventory we had here in here initially that didn’t sell just ended up sitting here tying up money. In the long run I thought maybe it would have been fine -- we had steady sales growth until the economic thing happened this year.”

The news of The Bookworm’s closing comes in the same week that Legacy Books, a 24,000 sq.-ft. indie, celebrates its grand opening in nearby Plano. “I’m encouraging all my customers to shop there,” said Norwood. “It’s opening in a rough economic climate and they are going to need all the help they can get.”

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