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Books-A-Million Inc.
Industry Retail (Specialty)
Founded In 1917 in Florence, Alabama
Founder Clyde W. Anderson
Headquarters Birmingham, Alabama, United States
Number of locations
Key people
Clyde B. Anderson, Executive Chairman
Terrance G. Finley, Chief Executive Officer, President
R. Todd Noden, Chief Financial Officer
James F. Turner, Executive Vice President of Real Estate and Business Development
Products Books-A-Million Booksellers
Number of employees
5,500 (2008)[1]

Books-A-Million, Inc., also known as BAM!, is an American company that owns and operates the second largest bookstore chain in the United States. It is headquartered in Birmingham, Alabama.[2] The company operates over 200 stores in the South, Midwest, and Northeastern United States. As of 2010, the company had about 5,500 employees.

In addition to its flagship Books-A-Million superstore division, the company also operates the stores branded Books & Company and book and greeting card stores under the name Bookland. The company's stores mainly operate within either shopping malls or lifestyle centers. Most Books-A-Million stores feature "Joe Muggs" cafés.

In addition to its primary retail component, the corporation includes a book wholesale and distribution subsidiary, American Wholesale Book Company (AWBC); an e-commerce division operating as;[3] and an internet development and services company, NetCentral, in Nashville, Tennessee. In 2011, Books-A-Million became the second largest book retailer in the United States, trailing only Barnes & Noble, after the demise of their larger rival, Borders Group.


Books-A-Million in Houston Pavilions, Downtown Houston
A BAM! store that reuses a former Borders Books & Music store in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio

Books-A-Million superstores[edit]

The Books-A-Million superstore is the main retail entity of the Books-A-Million corporation. The first superstore was opened in 1988,[4] though the company did not post on the NASDAQ until 1992. Today there are over 200 Books-A-Million superstores.[5] The stores range in size from 8,000 to 36,000 square feet (740 to 3,340 m2), most typically around 30,000 square feet (2,800 m2).[6] They sell a range of goods including books, periodicals, gifts, and food offered in the Joe Muggs newsstands.[7]

Many BAM stores have "Joe Muggs"-branded cafes included. Books-A-Million began including Joe Muggs cafes in their superstores in 2001.[4] Books-A-Million owns and operates the brand. The cafe is similar to the Starbucks chain, offering coffee and pastries.

In April 2010, BAM paid $3 million for shares in Yogurt Mountain, a self-serve frozen yogurt chain.[8] Soon after, in October 2010, Yogurt Mountain locations began appearing inside Books-A-Million superstores, beginning in Lakeland, Florida.[9]


Bookland was the precursor to Books-A-Million. It began as a newsstand on the corner of Court Street and Tennessee Street in Florence, Alabama, started by Clyde W. Anderson. The profits from the stand allowed him to buy a bookstore, which was then inherited by his sons. They opened new stores and incorporated them under the name "Bookland" in 1964.[4] Bookland survives as a subsidiary of BAM, focusing on smaller stores, though the number of their stores has shrunk significantly from what was at one point 72 locations[4] to 24 different locations[10] in the US, mostly dispersed through the Southeast.[11][edit] is the website for the Books-A-Million superstore chain, launched in 1998, but is specifically listed as its own brand.[12] The site offers online dealings in essentially what the superstore also offers, including books, ebooks, toys and gifts, audio, magazines, movies, and music.[7]

Books-a-Million's stock price soared by over 1000% in one week when the company announced its updated website on November 25, 1998, a notable example of speculation during the dot-com bubble of the late 1990s. The company's share price rose from around $3 previously to an all-time closing high of $38.94 on November 27 and an intra-day high of $47.00 on November 30, before quickly pulling back to around $10 two weeks later. By 2000, the share price had returned to $3.[13][14][15][16]


NetCentral was acquired by Books-A-Million in 1998,[4] in order to manage their recently opened website. The company is classified in "On-Line Data Base Information Retrieval" and located in Nashville, Tennessee.[17] Upon acquisition, NetCentral "designed and developed the newly refurbished web site for Books-A-Million."[4] The unit designed the current logos for Books-A-Million.[18]

2nd & Charles[edit]

2nd & Charles is a division of Books-A-Million that specializes in trading used books, audio books, CDs, DVDs, video games, game systems, vinyl records and accessories.[19] It opened on September 25, 2010, in Hoover, Alabama, across from Riverchase Galleria. They buy and sell based on the condition and popularity of the product.[20][21] Bulk quantities of discounted remaindered books and magazines are not part of the in-stock inventory, unlike its competitor with a similar product mix in the used media space, Half Price Books.


In 2014, Books-A-Million was identified by the publication 24/7 Wall St. as America's worst company to work for, citing low satisfaction among employees due to "high stress and low pay... low chance of promotion, [and] hours are based on magazine and discount card sales."[22] Since release of the 2014 survey, Books-A-Million's rating has risen and they were not included in the 2015 list of companies.[23]


  1. ^ "Company Profile for Books-A-Million Inc". Retrieved January 17, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Welcome to Books-A-Million, Inc." Books-A-Million. Retrieved on January 18, 2011. "Corporate Office Books-A-Million, Inc. 402 Industrial Lane Birmingham, Alabama 35211."
  3. ^
  4. ^ a b c d e f " profile for Books-A-Million." Accessed January 20, 2011
  5. ^ "Books-A-Million location directory." Accessed Ochober 6, 2013.
  6. ^ "BAM in NY Times." Accessed January 20, 2011
  7. ^ a b "" Accessed January 20, 2011
  8. ^ "Books-A-Million paid $3M for Yogurt Mountain stake - Birmingham Business Journal". 2010-04-16. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  9. ^ Stegall, Sarah (2010-10-25). "Yogurt Mountain Coming Soon to Books-a-Million". Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  10. ^ "Bookland Location Directory." Accessed January 20, 2011.
  11. ^ "Bookland Location Map." Accessed January 20, 2011
  12. ^ "BAM Corporate Profile Accessed January 20, 2011
  13. ^ "Books-A-Million, Inc. Announces Enhanced Website". The Free Library. November 25, 1998. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ "CNNfn market movers". CNNfn. November 25, 1998. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  15. ^ "Books-A-Million (BAMM) quotes". Google Finance. 
  16. ^ "Books-A-Million (BAMM) historical prices". Google Finance. Retrieved July 10, 2014. 
  17. ^ Manta Company Profile Accessed January 20, 2011
  18. ^ here
  19. ^ "What we buy". 2nd and Charles. 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  20. ^ Dawn Kent (September 25, 2010). "New idea in used books: 2nd and Charles opens with recycling theme". The Birmingham News. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  21. ^ "Locations". 2nd and Charles. 2011. Retrieved July 22, 2011. 
  22. ^ America's worst companies to work for. June 21, 2014.
  23. ^ [1]

Further reading[edit]

  • Teitelbaum, Richard S. (January 25, 1993) "Companies to Watch: Books-A-Million". Fortune magazine
  • Stern, William M. (June 20, 1994) "Southern Fried Reading". Forbes magazine
  • International Directory of Company Histories. Vol. 14 (1996) St. James Press

External links[edit]