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Charlotte Area News

Joseph-Beth Files Chapter 11

Last week, Joseph-Beth Booksellers announced it's closing its store in SouthPark Mall. This week, the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Joseph-Beth's financial troubles are no surprise. Last week, the company announced it's shutting down stores in Charlotte and Pittsburgh. And in announcing its bankruptcy filing, the Cincinnati-based company says it will close a store in Cleveland and another in Nashville that operates under the name Davis-Kidd Booksellers. A chapter 11 filing allows the company to try to reorganize. Joseph-Beth cites a weak economy and poor economic forecasts for the first half of 2011 as the reason for the filing. It's a tough time for the bookstore industry. Sales have been on a steady decline as devices like the Kindle have made books easier to read in a digital format. The Association of American Publishers reports that sales of traditional books dropped 12 percent in September from the previous year, while sales of electronic books jumped 158 percent.