Books-A-Million Inc.
Company typePrivate
(1917–1992 and 2015–present)
Founded1917; 107 years ago (1917) in Florence, Alabama
FounderClyde W. Anderson
HeadquartersBirmingham, Alabama
Number of locations
Key people
Clyde B. Anderson, Chairman
Terrance G. Finley, CEO & President
R. Todd Noden, CFO
RevenueIncrease $934 million (2022)
Increase $4.619 million (2014)
Increase $2.908 million (2014)
Total assetsDecrease $294.251 million (2014)
Total equityIncrease $113.264 million (2014)
OwnerAnderson family (100%)
Number of employees
5,000 (2022)
SubsidiariesYogurt Mountain (40%)
Footnotes / references
Books-A-Million in Houston Pavilions, Downtown Houston
The Books-A-Million store at Sawgrass Mills, Sunrise, Florida

Books-A-Million, Inc., also known as BAM!, is a bookstore chain in the United States, operating 260 stores in 32 states.[2] Stores range in size from 4,000 to 30,000 square feet and sell books, magazines, manga, collectibles, toys, technology, and gifts.[2] Most Books-A-Million stores feature "Joe Muggs" cafés, a coffee and espresso bar.[2] Stores operate under the names Books-A-Million, Bookland, Books & Company, and 2nd & Charles.[3]

The company owns Yogurt Mountain Holding, a frozen yogurt retailer and franchisor with 40 locations, as well as Preferred Growth Properties, which develops and manages commercial real estate investments.[3] It owns and operates American Wholesale Book Company (AWBC), an e-commerce division operating as; and an internet development and services company, NetCentral, in Nashville, Tennessee.[2]

In December 2015, the company was acquired by its chairman, Clyde B. Anderson, and his family, for $21 million.[3][4]


Books-A-Million was founded in 1917 in Florence, Alabama,[1] as a newsstand by 14-year old Clyde W. Anderson, who dropped out of school to support his family after his father died.[5] Anderson saw a business opportunity after workers on the nearby Wilson Dam complained that they could not get their hometown newspapers.

In 1950, Charles C. Anderson, the founder's son, inherited the store and expanded it into a chain.[5] The company incorporated as Bookland in 1964.[5]

By 1980, the company had 50 stores.[5]

In 1988, Bookland acquired the Gateway Books retail chain based in Knoxville, Tennessee. The same year, the company opened its first superstore format store.[5]

In 1992, the company changed its name to Books-A-Million, Inc. and became a public company via an initial public offering of 2.6 million shares at a price of $13 per share.[5][6]

In 1998, the company launched its website,[5]

On November 25, 1998, during the dot-com bubble, the stock price soared from $3 per share to $38.94 on November 27, 1998, and an intra-day high of $47.00 on November 30, 1998, after the company announced an updated website. Two weeks later, the share price was back down to $10. By 2000, the share price had returned to $3. Those days included suspenseful times for day traders, such as when the stock moved up 6 points in 13 minutes. During this time, insiders sold hundreds of thousands of shares.[6][7]

In 1999, the company acquired NetCentral, the designer of its website, and began operating American Wholesale Book Company, a book wholesaler and distributor.[5]

In April 2010, the company paid $3 million for a 40% stake in Yogurt Mountain, a frozen yogurt retailer and franchisor.[8] Six months later, the company opened Yogurt Mountain locations in its bookstores.[9]

In September 2010, the company launched 2nd & Charles, a trader of used media, with its first store in Hoover, Alabama across from Riverchase Galleria.[10]

In December 2015, the company was acquired by its chairman, Clyde B. Anderson, and his family, for $21 million.[3][4][11]

In November 2016, the company began to sell self-published books.[12]


In 2014, Books-A-Million was identified by 24/7 Wall Street 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."[13][14]

See also


  1. ^ a b "Books-A-Million Inc. 2014 Form 10-K Annual Report". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.
  2. ^ a b c d "Books-A-Million: About Us". Books-A-Million.
  3. ^ a b c d "Books-A-Million, Inc. Completes Go-Private Transaction" (Press release). Business Wire. December 10, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Beckerman, Josh (July 13, 2015). "Books-A-Million in $21 Million Buyout Deal With Chairman". The Wall Street Journal.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h Lewis, Herbert Jim. "Books-A-Million". Encyclopedia of Alabama.
  6. ^ a b Mollencamp, Carrick; Lundergaard, Karen (December 9, 1998). "How Net Fever Sent Shares of a Firm on a 3 Day Joy Ride". The Wall Street Journal. ISBN 9780393065145.
  7. ^ "CNNfn market movers". CNN. November 25, 1998.
  8. ^ DeButts, Jimmy (April 16, 2010). "Books-A-Million paid $3M for Yogurt Mountain stake". American City Business Journals.
  9. ^ Stegall, Sarah (October 25, 2010). "Yogurt Mountain Coming Soon to Books-a-Million". The Ledger.
  10. ^ Kent Azok, Dawn (September 25, 2010). "New idea in used books: 2nd and Charles opens with recycling theme". The Birmingham News.
  11. ^ Poe, Kelly (July 13, 2015). "Books-A-Million may go private again: Anderson family buying company, pending shareholder approval". The Birmingham News.
  12. ^ Poe, Kelly (November 4, 2016). "Books-A-Million to begin selling self-published books". The Birmingham News.
  13. ^ Frohlich, Thomas C.; McIntyre, Douglas A. (June 21, 2014). "New idea in used books: 2nd and Charles opens with recycling theme". 24/7 Wall Street.
  14. ^ Frost, Jason (June 24, 2014). "Books-A-Million lands on list of America's Worst Companies to Work For". American City Business Journals.