Yesterday, I broke the news that University Village Barnes & Noble will be closing. (Seattle Times reported on this story last night. I'm sure the credit to Slog for breaking the news was somehow accidentally removed during the editing process. Right, guys? Right?)
This morning, I received a message from a Barnes & Noble U Village employee who would, for obvious reasons, prefer to remain anonymous.
They are not re-opening another location. The lease for the space was up and BN tried to low-ball UVillage management. UVillage management was asking the same price BN had been paying for years and BN corporate didn't want to pay it. Part of this is that the store had steadily been declining in volume over the last decade. It used to make around $14 million/yr and now ~$9 million/yr. There will be a huge clearance sale but a lot of the product will be getting sent to other stores. The whole thing is sad. The BN local store management was completely blindsided by corporate and now ~50 people will be out of jobs. Many of my co-workers had worked at that location for over 10 years. The last day of business I believe is 12-28.
I just talked with someone from the Barnes & Noble publicity office in New York about this message. She said she could not comment until she spoke with their real estate department. I'll let you know when I hear back from them.