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Brick and mortar bookstores report good quarter. Wait, what?

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Believe it or not, something good has happened to brick-and-mortar bookstores. In the first quarter of 2013, more book buyers walked in their doors -- a lot more.

Retail watcher Placed Insights found brick-and-mortar booksellers saw a 27% increase in shopper traffic in the first three months of 2013 when compared to the same period in 2012. That's according to a report in National Real Estate Investor, which keeps an eye on which stores tend to draw customers.

National bookseller Barnes & Noble saw a major increase in foot traffic, moving up eight places to become the 17th-most visited store in the country. That statistic seems to run counter to the common perception that brick-and-mortar bookstores are in trouble.

Other national retailers that saw increases sell a variety of goods -- Target, Kohls, Best Buy, Old Navy, PetSmart, Bed Bath & Beyond, and Macy’s -- but none had quite as big a jump as Barnes & Noble.

The retailers that lost ground included Sam’s Club, GameStop, Lowe’s, Sears, Kmart, Marshalls and Payless Shoe Source.

There were two categories of retailers that gained more than bookstores: financial planning shops, as would be expected at tax time, and bars -- which might be expected at tax time too.

Carolyn Kellogg: Join me on Twitter, Facebook and Google+

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Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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