Santa Barbara’s independent bookstores are claiming victory in the latest battle against big-box chains.
National retailers Barnes & Noble and Borders both said in November that they’re pulling out of the city. Locally owned stores now say they’re already hiring more staff and increasing inventories in anticipation of an uptick in business after the big boys clear out of town.
“After all these years, I’m kind of the last man standing,” said Mahri Kerley, owner of Chaucer’s Bookstore in Santa Barbara’s Loreto Plaza. The store has been in business for 37 years, expanding and relocating in Santa Barbara several times during that period.