Barnes & Noble has temporarily shut approximately 65% of its stores following the coronavirus outbreak in the US.
The chain has now closed over 400 of its 620 stores, it has confirmed.
It comes after boss James Daunt warned staff last week of potential lay-offs if shops had to close during the pandemic.
He told staff at the time: "We balance now our determination to save the business with an endeavour to be as fair as possible to all. In consequence, when a store is closed, employees will first make use of their Paid Time Off. When this is exhausted, we will pay employees with one or more years of service for up to two weeks based on their weekly standard hours. Temporarily, and with sincere regret, on closure we lay off all those employees impacted with less than six months employment on the day of closure.”
In the UK, a vast new clampdown by the government this week saw W H Smith also close around 60% of its branches. Waterstones, which Daunt also runs, closed all its shops at the weekend following an outcry by some of its workers and a number of high-profile authors including Adam Kay and Irvine Welsh. Daunt had previously called for bookshops to stay open and fulfil a social need.