The American Booksellers Association announced it added 111 new member bookstores last year. This is an increase in the number of new openings over 2018 when only 99 member stores joined. In addition, the ABA indicated that 25 stores were sold to new owners last year.
The organization does not disclose the number of stores that closed or dropped membership. The most recent numbers made available by the ABA of total membership indicate that there are approximately 2,550 members, representing some 1,880 companies in the bookselling industry.
The new member stores included 20 new branches of an existing business, such as Elliott Bay Book Company‘s new branch at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport opened in collaboration with Hudson News Group, as well as numerous branches of Half Price Books. A showing that indicates that chains are growing and vibrant in this current industry.
Among the newly opened stores were The Center for Fiction Bookstore in Brooklyn, N.Y., the bookselling arm of the literary nonprofit: Lark & Owl Booksellers in Georgetown, Texas, which was opened by a collective of 10 women; and The Lit. Bar, the first independent bookstore to open in the Bronx in recent memory.