A major Southeast independent bookstore has changed ownership. Perry Tanner, former corporate vice president of marketing for Scientific-Atlanta, has purchased the Atlanta-based Chapter 11 Bookstore from co-founders Barbara Kaufman and Dale Glenn. Terms of the agreement, which was signed on July 31, were not disclosed.
Chapter 11's first store was opened in 1990, and the business has grown to 13 stores and a Web site. Kaufman noted that the decision to sell was difficult, but she said, "when I met Perry, I felt he would continue what we'd started. I always felt if someone came along who would keep the corporate culture and take it [the business] to the next level, I'd move on to my next venture. And that's what happened," as reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Tanner noted to BTW that "I am not buying this for the status quo," noting that growth was a prime objective going forward. Looking ahead, he said plans call for opening one to two stores a year, studying how margins might be improved, and increasing sales in existing stores. In the days following the purchase, Tanner said he had been concentrating on visiting Chapter 11 stores and meeting store managers and booksellers. "I'm really blessed by having these store managers [and booksellers]," he said, adding that the booksellers' expertise was a key business asset. Tanner said he would work to convey to customers that Chapter 11 offered convenience, a friendly and knowledgeable staff, and value. "We won't be a price leader always, but we will be price competitive," he noted.
Negotiations for the purchase began in the spring, and, Tanner said, they became more serious after he attended BookExpo America, where exposure to the industry helped confirm his decision.