Book distribution giant Baker & Taylor is shuttering its retail distribution business, which includes the distribution of graphic novels to comic shops and bookstores.
In a memo sent out by company president David Cully, Baker & Taylor intends to concentrate strictly on the library and educational markets.
"Today Baker & Taylor and Follett are announcing changes to the Baker & Taylor operational footprint and the markets we serve. Over the coming weeks, Baker & Taylor will be exiting the wholesale retail book market. We will wind down our activities and related services selling books wholesale to retailers," wrote Cully.
In addition to individual publishers who distribute through Baker & Taylor, Diamond Comic Distributors' book division also distributed to bookstores extensively through Baker & Taylor. Diamond also has deals with Bookazine, Ingram, and others.
"The decision to exit the retail business was not an easy one but the retail market has become an increasingly difficult one in which to operate," Cully's memo continued. "The leadership at Baker & Taylor studied options that might help our retail performance and ultimately determined that the best course for Baker & Taylor is to focus on our public library and publisher services businesses. Our plan is to complete our exit of the retail wholesale business by July 15."
As part of this shift, Baker & Taylor will close its warehouses in Bridgewater, New Jersey and Reno, Nevada, according to Publisher's Weekly. Roughly 500 jobs will reportedly be eliminated as part of this change.