By in Business

Will Chapters Close in Canada?

With more and more Canadians turning to online shopping it is getting harder for established chains to keep their doors open. Chapters, is one of my favorite stores. It's a bookstore with style. Started in 1996, the chain would change the landscape of the book selling business in Canada. The retailer was unique, it offered a huge volume of books, beautifully displayed in well marked areas. Couches and arm chairs were scattered about, some in front of fireplaces to encourage people to grab a book, sit, relax, and read. The atmosphere was calming, relaxing, and quaint, despite the fact that the buildings were large.

To make it even more appealing they added a Starbucks coffee shop right in amongst the books. Not only were you encouraged to grab a book and take a read, but you could grab a cup of coffee as well. They sold a large volume of books, covering every genre possible. They also had great book sales. I was never able to go to Chapters without buying more books then I needed. By encouraging customers to read a few pages, they certainly sold more books. As Chapters grew smaller book stores eventually closed their doors. They were unable to compete with the volume of books and prices that Chapters could offer.

Now, 18 years later the retail chain is having to make big changes if it wants to keep its retail doors open. While Canada is behind other developed countries when it comes to online shopping, we are turning to it more and more. Competition from places like, which offers e-books and book prices just as good or better, has been forcing the Chapters chain to branch out in an effort to keep their retail doors open. The last time I stopped at Chapters, not only did they have books, but a wide variety of gift ware. While you can order Chapter's books and items online, the shipping and handling costs are high. The last time I ordered I paid just as much in shipping handling as I paid for the books. This doesn't bod well for the retail giant. Chapters employs a lot of people nationwide in their retail outlets. A closure would mean the loss of many jobs for Canadians.

Times change, the needs of the consumer change, and I'm hoping Chapters can follow along.


Image Credit » (public domain)

You will need an account to comment - feel free to register or login.


MegL wrote on August 23, 2014, 5:51 AM

Yes, the Big River has grown enormously. I wonder if we will regret it?

suffolkjason wrote on August 23, 2014, 6:14 AM

It would be interesting to know Amazon's strategy. Clearly, at the moment, they are focused on revenue and world domination and not profits. What will happen to their pricing when they have no effective competition? What sort of service will they provide? Will they discontinue unprofitable lines/books? If that nightmare scenario does arrive, what could be done?

LynnWrites wrote on August 23, 2014, 9:11 AM

I sometimes wonder about that, too, MegL even their shipping prices are cheaper than most places and sometimes free. Hard to compete with that. Yes, the big river is flooding.

LynnWrites wrote on August 23, 2014, 9:20 AM

I wonder about that also, suffolkjason . I do think they have a strategy. When you look at how they have exploded world wide, and the prices they are selling things at, often with added bonuses of free shipping it makes it hard for any other business to compete. Wiping out the competition gives them free reign and they can then charge what they want and carry only the products they want. It will be interesting to see how they proceed.

MegL wrote on August 23, 2014, 9:54 AM

They also are not paying tax in the countries where they sell their products. That gives them a VERY unfair advantage over bricks and mortar businesses.

SLGarcia wrote on August 23, 2014, 2:53 PM

The same is happening here in the U.S. with bookstores. It is ashame because I love going to bookstores, especially when I can sit and enjoy some

AliCanary wrote on August 23, 2014, 3:45 PM

All the independent bookstores closed here, leaving only the big names, like Waldenbooks, Borders and Barnes and Noble. And then Waldenbooks closed. And then Borders closed, even though it had a coffee bar. Barnes and Noble seems to be doing okay, but who knows? There's a new independent bookstore open that is basically a coffee and wine bar with books for sale, but now even the new library branch has a snack bar! Holy cow, does no one just READ, any more? We have to be sucking something down, too?

LynnWrites wrote on August 23, 2014, 3:47 PM

I forgot about that, MegL . That also gives them an unfair advantage. They do have an awesome affiliate program so are visible where ever you turn. I'm use Amazon a lot, for other purchases but do try to shop local if I can.

LynnWrites wrote on August 23, 2014, 3:52 PM

AliCanary , I'm still old school, and I love my books. I have a Kindle but just can't seem to get into it. Yet, everyone I know rarely buys books anymore. Its to easy to download them to Kindles, phones, etc. Makes you wonder if technology ever got a glinch how much info would be lost that's not written down manually. Our library is also struggling and it looks like even they are trying new things to keep interest up. I didn't know about the closure in the States, that's to bad. Chapters is our only large chain bookstore, I really can't see them surviving unless they are able to lower their prices and shipping and handling costs.

LynnWrites wrote on August 23, 2014, 4:02 PM

That's a shame they are closing where you are too, SLGarcia . I love going where I can relax and browse, too.

Feisty56 wrote on August 24, 2014, 7:03 PM

Book stores are becoming more difficult to find all the time in my area of Ohio. My second favorite place to the public library is the book store -- I feel like a kid in the candy shop! I am sorry to see the book stores go the way of the dinosaur.

madhavan_as wrote on August 25, 2014, 11:10 AM

nice and good to read. Big shots or Big companies in retails not to good either.. Consumer will rule for few months they rule you for decades together. see what Wallmart and others in US. beware.