Freeport News Network — The Wisconsin book chain known as Book World announced on Wednesday that it will close all 45 of its stores in 7 states including several in northwestern Illinois. The list includes Book World in South Park Mall in Moline, plus Sterling, Galena, Peru, and Freeport in Illinois, and a store in West Burlington, Iowa.
The company says a shift in consumer preference to online shopping affected sales and says liquidation sales will begin Thursday in all 45 stores. Book World says it expects all stores will be closed by January 15th. The company’s senior vice president Mark Dupont says 325 employees will lose their jobs as a result with about a dozen at the corporate office also losing their jobs.
In a letter, senior vice president Mark Dupont says that while the chain had been able to weather the advent of e-books, in the past 12 months sales started plummeting and still continue to drop. And he blames the downturn on the national consumer shift towards e-commerce and away from large department stores.
Book World plans to begin liquidation sales on Thursday and says the company timed the closures and liquidation to coincide with the holiday shopping season. The sales reportedly will continue until all inventory is sold.
The first Book World store was founded in 1976 in Rhinelander, Wisconsin.