Bookstore chain to shut down two Gwinnett locations

LAWRENCEVILLE - Chapter 11 Bookstores said it's closing two Gwinnett locations following its decision to file for bankruptcy.

The Atlanta-based independent bookseller plans to shut down its Snellville and Norcross stores, along with other locations in Conyers, Gainesville, Athens and West Paces Ferry by the end of the month.

Chapter 11 President Perry Tanner said the company needed to become more streamlined in the highly competitive business, where even the largest bookstore chains are not immune to financial pressure.

"This decision was a function of profitability," Tanner said. "And that's hard to say, because these stores, like the one in Norcross, are like family members. You get to know and like each one of them."

But in a business where books are sold at competing big-box chains, in grocery superstores and over the Internet, "these bookstores just couldn't cut it financially." Tanner said.

Chapter 11 will continue operating retail locations in Peachtree Battle, Ansley Mall, Sandy Springs, Emory, Northlake/Briarcliff and Highland Plaza. The company will also keep its online business and its used book buyback program.

Chapter 11 announced on Monday it filed for bankruptcy protection Saturday and would focus its resources

on six stores as part of its reorganization.

Tanner said the company has secured financing, creating positive cash flow heading into the holidays - the most critical time of the year for all retailers.