Book retailer Barnes & Noble Inc. said today the company will close two longtime Fort Worth locations – the downtown store in Sundance Square and the University Village store – in January. David Deason, vice president of development for New York-based Barnes & Noble, released a statement regarding the closings.
“The lease for the Sundance Square store will expire in January of 2014,” he said. “The owners of Sundance Square have been fantastic partners throughout the 17 years we have been operating at this location. However, the sales generated at the store are not at a level that will support keeping the store open.”
According to Deason, Barnes & Noble could not reach an agreement to renew its lease with the owners of University Village, Glimcher Realty Trust in Columbus, Ohio.
“We have made tremendous effort to secure an extension to our lease at University Village,” he said. “However the owners of the property have communicated that they are committed to breaking the store up into smaller spaces for other retailers that will pay rents in excess of what we can afford. We had hoped that we could find a way to keep the store open, but there just was not interest from the property owner in this case.”
Glimcher officials could not be reached for comment. Barnes & Noble still has several area locations, including a store near TCU, just down the street from the University Village location and a site on South Hulen.
In July, Barnes & Noble CEO William Lynch announced he was departing after a three-year tenure in which the company was battered by the shift away from brick-and-mortar bookstores to e-commerce and digital products. Barnes & Noble has tried to compete in the tablet market with the likes of Amazon’s Kindle and Apple’s iPad, but sales of its Nook tablets have disappointed.
The company’s first quarter consolidated revenues, announced in August, decreased 8.5 percent, to $1.3 billion, compared to the prior year.