Indie bookstores making unlikely return

February 07, 2011 10:12AM

With Barnes & Noble shifting its focus to e-books and Borders on the brink of a bankruptcy filing, it would seem an inopportune moment for the comeback of the independent bookstore in New York City. But according to Crain’s, more than half a dozen such shops have opened across the city over the past couple of years, and they’re actually doing quite well. Among the new shops are Posman Books, which opened a second, 2,000-square-foot location at Chelsea Market in September 2009 and is now in the process of inking a 10-year deal with its landlord at that location after bringing in more than $1 million in revenue in its first year. As with everything in real estate, though, it’s all about location. At Posman’s Grand Central Terminal shop, sales have been on the decline since late 2008. Meanwhile, Book Culture, an 1,800-square-foot indie shop at 114th Street and Broadway that opened in November 2009, broke even in its first year and is looking to turn a profit in its second. But the owner’s other store, two blocks away, has seen sales fall by 25 percent over the past five years. [Crain’s]