January 22, 2021

Things Change: GPO Will Permanently Close Its Brick and Mortar Bookstore in Washington, DC on January 4, 2021

From the Government Publishing Office:

The U.S. Government Publishing Office (GPO) will permanently close its brick-and-mortar bookstore at 710 North Capitol Street NW in Washington, DC on January 4, 2021. After lengthy consideration, GPO, in consultation with the Joint Committee on Printing and its congressional oversight committees, determined that the bookstore is no longer financially viable due to changes in customer behavior which have resulted in sustained losses over the last five years.

The bookstore’s three team members, all of whom were already eligible for retirement, have accepted incentives to ease the transition. GPO estimates that closing the brick-and-mortar bookstore will save approximately $500,000 per year and free up resources to devote to online publication sales.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, the bookstore has not been open to the public since March. Federal publications continue to be available for sale through the U.S. Government Online Bookstore.

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GPO’s bookstore’s roots trace back to 1895 when employees started serving the public by selling new and popular publications from all three branches of the Federal Government. The GPO Bookstore first opened in the 1920s in the annex building on H Street NW. In the late 1940s, it moved to the first floor of the GPO headquarters on North Capitol Street where it has remained. In the 1970s, GPO had 27 bookstores nationwide. As online sales surged, GPO closed its regional bookstores between 2001 and 2003. GPO began selling publications online in 1999. The GPO Bookstore is the only bookstore to exclusively sell Federal publications.

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About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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