GPO To Close Brick-And-Mortar Bookstore

Federal Publications Available at Online Bookstore

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 at https://bookstore.gpo.gov . This storefront provides the public with the opportunity to purchase more than four thousand titles such as the Pocket Constitution, National Park Service Trip Planners, the President’s budget for the Federal Government, activity books for children, and much more.

As more Government information was made available at no cost through govinfo, our certified secure digital repository, and through our popular online book sales program, the business case for maintaining a separate physical bookstore evaporated,” said GPO Director Hugh Nathanial Halpern. “Even with the closure of the brick-and-mortar bookstore, GPO’s commitment to Keeping America Informed will continue through our online offerings. We are grateful to our teammates for their dedication to the bookstore and wish them the best in the future.”

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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