Bad news for D.C. bookstores today: DCist reports that Olsson’s Dupont Circle store has closed. This follows the bookseller filing for bankruptcy in July; earlier this month Shelf Awareness reported that the local chain’s head book buyer and general manager, Alexis Akre, left the company.
Nobody’s picking up the phone at any of the chain’s stores. More as we hear it, but this is clearly a bad turn of events for both readers and authors. Olsson’s, especially the Dupont Circle store, provided a haven for readings by writers who weren’t big-deal enough to nab a slot at Politics & Prose; the events page on the chain’s Web site, still live, gives you a sense of that. Dupont Circle still has some top-shelf used shops, including Second Story Books and Books for America. But the fact that the sole places selling new books in Dupont is now Kramerbooks, a place that’s all about brunch and bestsellers, or Books-a-Million, which just deals in bestsellers, is more than a little disheartening.
Update: A press release on Olsson’s homepage announces that the company filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy:
Stephen Wallace-Haines, Olsson’s general manager stated: “In the end, all the roads towards reorganization led to this dead end: we did not have the money required to pay for product in advance, to collect reserves to buy for Christmas, and satisfy the demands of rent and operational costs. We were losing money just by staying open.”