GPO clicks three brick-and-mortar stores closed

GPO clicks three brick-and-mortar stores closed

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff


JULY 27'The Government Printing Office this week announced it is closing three of its 23 bookstores, which stock federal publications and other products. The San Francisco bookstore and one of the two stores in Washington, D.C., have already closed; the Boston store will close Aug. 17.

GPO spokesman Andrew Sherman said the biggest sellers by far have always been the Federal Register and the Code of Federal Regulations, which are now available online for free. The office operates an online bookstore, at bookstore.gpo.gov, and an information resource, GPO Access, which offers multiple government products and links to federal sites.

'In a way, we've been victims of our own success' by posting information on the Web where interested persons can find what they want without having to buy paper publications, Sherman said.

GPO's total sales of more than 200,000 titles have dropped from a maximum of about $80 million per year in the last decade to the current $40 million to $50 million, most of it by mail order. 'We're trying to reconfigure as our market has contracted,' Sherman said. 'We're looking at expiring leases [of bookstores] and retirements as the first candidates.'

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