Do we really need a 20,000 sg. ft. superstore in Davis?

Books were one of the few catergories in the city's economic study found to have virtually no leakage of sales out of town.

What would a superstore at Aggie Village mean?

- The Next Chapter would be leaving town.
- Many local bookstores, newstands, music stores, and cafes would be hurt, causing business failures and empty storefronts. These are the businesses in the core area that keep the long hours that create vitality in downtown Davis, especially at night.
- Waldenbooks, which is owned by Borders, would most likely close. This would cause even more problems for already troubled University Mall.
- The UC Davis Bookstore would be seriously hurt from a project built on land just sold to the developer by UCD.
- Sales tax revenue from the superstore would just be offsetting lost revenues from its victims.
- This would be a huge lost opportunity to get sorely needed retail into the downtown.

Some of the facts about the chains that bind bookselling

In the 1970's, the national chain bookstores (B Dalton & Waldenbooks) started an aggressive country-wide spread. The chains selected sites for its stores by looking for an area that had numerous or large successful independent bookstores, finding a nearby mall, and sticking a bookstore in. Because of those 2,500 square foot stores, the book industry had to "adjust." Many independent bookstores closed. In the 1980's, the two major chains were racing with each other to be the first to reach 1,000 stores. Then, in 1990, Barnes & Noble created the first chain superstore and the chains were off on another, wilder, expansion that the bookselling community hasn't finished "adjusting" to yet. Presently, the chains aren't interested in mall stores -- it's the era of superstores. Successful independents are still prime targets, but the chains are also spying on each other for any new site. The competition for locations is intense, and a city can suddenly be deluged with numerous superstores, from several chains, within blocks of each other. What follows is a major shakeout, with several or all of the independents closing after putting up the "good fight." They will increase services, expand stock, and maybe start heavy discounting. The major problem is that the independents can't get the huge and sometimes illegal discount deals that publishers give the major chains, so those extra dollars just aren't there. Many times -- even after independent bookstores, newstands, and music stores have been forced out of business -- there is just too much new square footage in those superstores for the area to support, and they fail. Then a city is left with not just some huge 20,000 to 50,000 square feet of empty retail space, but the city's mix of businesses has been decimated. And the home office looks for a new location.

Big 4 chains # of superstoresopened in 1996other divisions
former competing chains
other stores
Borders Group16040Waldenbooks/Brentano's1,000+
Barnes & Noble440 91B Dalton/Scribner's/Doubleday1,200+
Crown Books 11030

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