The huge downtown Chapters is closing (which means another iconic Toronto retail space is up for grabs)
Yet more evidence that physical bookstores are the Blockbusters of the 2010s: yesterday, Indigo announced that it will be shutting down the big Chapters store next to the Scotiabank Theatre at John and Richmond. The store is slated to close on May 30.
“After lengthy negotiations, we have made the difficult decision not to renew our lease,” Indigo vice president Janet Eger told the Star in an email. “We believe there continue to be opportunities for us to better serve our GTA customers.” Toronto Chapters locations seem to be a dying breed: earlier this week, the Indigo-owned World’s Biggest Bookstore called it quits, and in mid-February the company’s Runnymede location did the same. (Eger says Indigo is already on the hunt for a new downtown lease, so readers and wicker-basket collectors need not despair entirely.)
All this brings us to the real question, though: who’s moving in? The space is big and well enough located to attract some serious retail contenders—provided they can get see beyond the gargantuan red Rubik’s Cube perched awkwardly on the roof—so it should be interesting to see what happens next. With any luck, the replacement will be something equally useful to moviegoers looking to kill time before a show.
11 thoughts on “The huge downtown Chapters is closing (which means another iconic Toronto retail space is up for grabs)”
Don’t forget the Runnymede Theatre Chapters – that closed at the end of February. It’s going to be a SDM.
Part of the problem is that people use these stores as coffee shops and free libraries instead of actually ‘purchasing’ product from them. While I can appreciate a great coffee in a bookstore as much as the next person, it only entices folks to read the books and articles ‘in’ the store rather than buying them and taking them home. Sometimes creating more customer convenience can also develop customer laziness and failure to close the deal
The rumour is that it will be a giant Michael’s (arts & crafts) store. So with Marshalls, Milestones, Michael’s and Linen Chest. This is now your mom’s favourite place!
so many times I go intending to just drink coffee and browse new reads, and then 9 times out of 10 I then leave the store with the purchase. I can’t be alone in this expensive habit..
My observation was that after Indigo took over and got rid of most of the chairs, live entertainment, etc., that was in fact the beginning of the end. Chapters locations are not going out of business because 20 people were browsing the books for free. When browsers no longer felt welcomed, these places lost their allure as meeting spots, intellectual date spaces, casual and enlightened experiences. Then all of the beautiful intelligent women stopped hanging out there and that’s all she wrote. Spaces this big actually need lots of people in the place, or else it feels uncomfortable and awkward. If mega bookstores are in the commodity business of simply selling books, then they can never compete with the convenience of online sales.
This is a sad day. What am I going to do when I come 4 hours early for a movie? I guess I will have to drink…
Loved that store….. :(
Go bowling for $60 an hour across the street!
Uniqlo would be great. But even better: MUJI!
no one ever saw the idea of chapters lasting forever. lets be reasonable. even when it first came out people were shocked that it worked as well as it did. i think when it first came out it was shocking how you never felt any pressure from the staff to make a purchase or to leave or anything of that nature. now adays it definitely seems different. Thing is back in the old days i never bought books.. I didn’t have money to anyways. i spent some money on magazines the odd time. nearing the end of chapters i have been spending way more. Not that much at this particular chapters however. When i’m in downtown toronto i’m not necessarily close to my home though and i use it as a spot to kill time and sometimes find some really good books. Ok i have spent a few bucks here but not really that many. Starbucks seems to be the main attraction in this store. Maybe that was their biggest competition. People short on time who are killing time before movies or are just getting a break from the streets of toronto are probably easier sold on getting an expensive drink to enjoy that they can also leave with rather than hanging out and reading. All the trendy people are there before movies and stuff. It’s hard to really fill yourself with knowledge in that surrounding. It’s like the theory that uniform schools are easier to study in cause there’s less distractions. It’s just one location and they’re looking for another though. Was it an awesome setup? Hell yes. Movie theater and a chapters. But if you’re being rushed it’s not the same. Plain and simple. I like checking out the music there too where they offered free listening. Or should i say did. They didn’t keep those machines working very well though. That could be a part of it that’s getting ignored.
Have to try like 5 cd’s before you find one that works.
I think being around the corner from much music might make it likely to have lots of music fans nearby. They should have kept those machines working to be honest.
I also find at some chapters.. well at this one in particular people get bossy about the tables at the starbucks. It’s like they want it to be their spot. like it’s not a place that’s meant to service the community and seating is something to fight over. It’s ridiculous. If you don’t have something nice to say you shouldn’t say it, but facing that type of pressure and territorial type people rather than real service is to be disapproved of none the less.
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