With all the bad news coming out of retail these days, it's hard to see how some store chains are still operating. Big department stores in malls are closing at astonishing rates all over the country; they are succumbing to the inevitable march of online sales. People just don't want to go to a physical store when they can access vastly more inventory at much better prices with a click here and a click there. Books-A-Million is still operating, but they are obviously experiencing the strain of the industry.
In the short term, I think Books-A-Million will stay open, but I don't know if the business will survive long term. Just look at Barnes N Noble, which is obviously under stress; they are the largest bookstore chain in the country, and I think if they are struggling, others have to be struggling more. I think online sales growth is only going to speed up in the coming years, and I think the idea of walking into a bookstore and browsing physical, paper books is going to soon be a thing of the past. Of course you'll still have your small, independent bookstores, but the idea of large retailers selling books at huge physical locations is probably not a sustainable model.
But with all the bad news coming out of virtually every sector the retail industry except for Amazon, sales of books are probably going up. People are just buying them in different places and in different ways than they did before.