Olsson's to File Chapter 11
With creditors filing claims against the store's inventory, coupled with increased overhead, Olsson's Books & Records plans to file for Chapter 11, founder John Olsson announced on Friday, June 27, as reported by the Washington Post. The Washington, D.C. landmark has shut its Penn Quarter store and is evaluating its five remaining locations, the article noted.
"The book business is getting a little soft. It's not selling as much as it used to," Olsson told the Post. "Our music sales went from 50 percent of our business to maybe 15. We lost a lot of revenue, and at the same time rents went up and real estate taxes went up. I don't know what we would have done differently. It's a killer."
The Post also reported that last week Random House, Penguin Group, and Hachette Book Group sought to have the U.S. Bankruptcy Court place Olsson's in involuntary Chapter 7 bankruptcy to force the company to liquidate.
GABBS 2008 to Include IndieBound
The 2008 Great American Bargain Book Show (GABBS) will be held on Friday, August 1, and Saturday August 2, at Cobb Galleria Centre in Atlanta. GABBS is an overstock, remainder, bargain, and value book show featuring new books and book-related products, additional media venues, and gift items.
American Booksellers Association staff will be on-hand at this year's show to share ideas and tips for making the most of the new IndieBound movement. Details will be provided in an upcoming edition of Bookselling This Week.
Registration for the show is now open via the GABBS website, www.gabbs.net.
NAIBA Trunk Show Set for July 15
The New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association (NAIBA) will be holding a Trunk Show at the Holiday Inn Carrier Circle in East Syracuse, New York, on Tuesday, July 15. The Trunk Show, a small, informal gathering of publishers' sales reps and local booksellers (owners and frontline booksellers), was created by NAIBA to give booksellers who don't usually see reps the opportunity to learn about frontlist titles and marketing and publicity plans. The July Trunk show will also feature author appearances sponsored by Penguin Group.
More information is available on the NAIBA website, www.newatlanticbooks.com.
Washington SSUTA Participation Kicks Off
On July 1, Washington State officially began asking remote sellers to collect sales tax as part of its participation in the nationwide Streamlined Sales Tax Project (SSTP), the Seattle Post-Intelligencer reported. SSTP is an effort created by state governments, with input from local governments and the private sector, to simplify and modernize sales and use tax collection and administration, making it much easier for online retailers to collect sales tax. Retailer participation in SSTP is voluntary, but more than 1,000 businesses in 21 participating states have agreed to collect sales tax on remote sales.
As part of the state's compliance with SSTP, the Washington tax system is changing from origin-based to destination-based for shipped goods, the Post-Intelligencer noted. In other words, the tax percentage collected and remitted is based on the buyer's location, not the seller's.
Mark Johnson, vice president of government affairs for the Washington Retail Association told the Post-Intelligencer that his association supports the change because it brings state tax law "in line with the new economy. When our sales-tax based structure was put into place, there wasn't an Internet, there wasn't a lot in catalog sales. We need to keep up with the times."