SAN FRANCISCO — The California Bookstore Association, the largest bookstore chain in the United States, said Monday that it is shutting down as a result of the loss of 1,700 jobs in San Francisco and other areas in the Bay Area.
The association said in a statement that it plans to continue operating in its San Francisco headquarters and at its other stores.
The statement said that while it has been able to maintain a profitable and sustainable business model for years, it cannot continue in this state.
The statement did not provide any specifics about the reasons for the closures, saying only that it was made public because of the need to be transparent with our members and our customers.
“It is important to note that these are temporary closures and that we are working with our partners to secure new employment opportunities,” the statement said.
“We are committed to keeping our members, guests and staff safe and to ensuring that they continue to have access to affordable, quality books and services.”
The closure of the chain is part of the broader trend in the book publishing industry, which is experiencing record-high sales, with online sales surpassing all-time highs in the past two years.
A report from the New York-based BookScan shows that the number of books sold online in the U.S. rose 15% last year, reaching 5 million copies.
Sales at the retail chain, based in San Diego, are up almost 75% year over year, and the chain has been expanding.
According to BookScan, the chain sold about 6.2 million books in 2015, up from 5.5 million in 2014.
In addition to the closures at the San Francisco store, the association said it is also closing locations in Los Angeles, San Diego and Portland.
Earlier this year, the union said that it planned to negotiate a contract with BookScan and that it would offer to pay BookScan an additional 3% commission.