Barnes & Noble in Merced to close soon

Residents urged to call company to save store

 

Barnes & Noble, the biggest bookstore in Merced, will be closing on May 12 — and it’s not because of some national corporate move to make the company more profitable.

“Sadly, the landlord has chosen not to renew our lease and redevelop instead,” said Janine Flanigan, a senior director of Store Planning & Design for Barnes & Noble, Inc. “We have truly loved serving the community for the past 21 years, and would have loved to continue doing so for many more.”

She added, “We are doing everything we can to find a new location. We greatly appreciate the loyalty and support of our customers during this time, as there has been an outpouring of notes from our customers expressing disappointment about this closing.”

The 21,714-square-foot store is located at 1720 W. Olive Avenue. For now, everything in the store, other than specified electronics and digital goods, is 25 percent off.

Though it’s not confirmed, some sources tell the Times that a furniture business will be moving into the new location.

Meanwhile, the news is surprising many local book fans who are reacting with sadness on social media platforms. However, this is not the first time Barnes & Noble in Merced has faced closure. It was set to close in 2013 before the company reached a deal with the landlord on a reduced lease.

This time around, Merced officials say they are searching for solutions to keep the store in town.

“It is obviously a huge blow to our community,” Merced Mayor Matthew Serratto told the Times. “It’s not just an ordinary business, it is a bookstore, and everything that it means. It represents literacy, education and is a community gathering place.

“We aren’t going to let it go easily.  I think our community is going to come together to fight really hard to: 1) Try to find another, better spot for Barnes & Noble, and 2) For the community to campaign — contact them and send them emails.

“I just encourage everybody to reach out and tell them how much that store means to us. It’s really important for all of us that we rally together and save the store and what it represents. It’s just a great spot for people to relax, take their kids, and just come together as a community.”

City Councilwoman Sarah Boyle said she hopes Barnes & Noble will be able to find another location in a similar way that the Best Buy electronics store did several years ago.

“I’ve been in contact with the local Barnes & Noble manager, and they want to stay. They never wanted to get to this point of closing, and it is disheartening that they are currently in this situation.”

  • If you are upset with this situation, you can email: Mybarnesandnoble@bn.com to let the larger Barnes & Noble corporation know your feelings, and encourage them to help save the store by finding a new location. While it will take some time and a lot of effort, it is possible for Barnes & Noble to find a temporary location so that they can continue to be a part of our community.
Barnes & NobleMercedMerced County
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