Chain Bookstore News

Books-A-Million reopened the majority of its stores, previously closed for the pandemic, in early May. Most of their locations are in the South, where restrictions were lifted earlier than elsewhere in the US; the stores are ‘‘following local guidelines for safe and secure shopping.’’ Ceo Terrance G. Finley says, ‘‘Our booksellers stand ready to share the rich assort- ment of new books and products that we have been curating over the past weeks.’’

Barnes & Noble announced tentative plans to reopen more than 50 stories in May, with locations in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Kansas, Idaho, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, North Carolina, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, and Utah. ‘‘During our closure, we not only re-organized and reflowed many parts of our store, but also installed various safety measures to ensure that our Booksellers and Customers are protected.’’ The company hopes to have half their locations open again by mid-June.

Barnes & Noble employees Felix Ramirez and Alberto Joyasaca died from COVID-19 in April and May 2020, respectively. They were both longtime workers at the company’s New Jersey distribution center. The facility was closed for five days, reopening after April 22, 2020, and there have been no known positive cases since. The warehouse has closed repeatedly for ‘‘deep cleaning,’’ with more cleanings planned. B&N workers have petitioned the governor to order the warehouse closed for two weeks for more thorough cleaning and to allow employees to self-quarantine.

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