Tag Archives: Barnes and Noble

Forest Hills Barnes & Noble may close, leaving just one branch in Queens


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

Updated 3:10 p.m.

Bookseller Barnes & Noble could shutter one of its two remaining locations in Queens if it doesn’t renew its lease.

The 22,000-square-foot location at 70-00 Austin St. in Forest Hills, which has been there for more than 20 years, may close when its lease expires in January. The bookstore declined to extend its lease five more years at the location, according to representatives of landlord Muss Development.

If it does close, the once-prominent bookstore chain will have just one location in Queens, which is in the Bay Terrace Shopping Center in Bayside. Last year, the company closed its Fresh Meadows branch near to St. John’s University.

Representatives for the firm said they are hoping to keep the Forest Hills location open.

“We’re having current discussions with the property owner regarding an extension of lease at Forest Hills,” said David Deason, vice president of development at Barnes & Noble. “We have clearly and consistently communicated to the property owner that we would extend long term, but at rents very close to what we are currently paying. We have been in business there for over 20 years, and hope that we can come to terms that are acceptable to both parties.”

However, an executive from Muss Development, which is prepared to put the space on the market, confirmed to The Courier that they have not received word from Barnes & Noble representatives that they want to sign a new long-term lease or even a one-year extension.

“I would love to keep Barnes & Noble if they have an interest in a long-term deal,” said Jeff Kay, COO of Muss Development. “We got no indication from them that they want to stay long term.”

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Last day of the year marks the end for Fresh Meadows Barnes & Noble


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/ Photo by Eric Jankiewicz

While the world was saying goodbye to 2014, dozens of Queens shoppers bid a sad farewell to the Barnes & Noble bookstore in Fresh Meadows on its final day of business Wednesday.

The bookstore was quiet on its last day, with many clearance shelves already emptied out by bargain hunters. Workers piled leftover books on dollies to be delivered to the chain’s Forest Hills location. Customers picked through boxes of books that were marked down 50 percent.

During its decade in Fresh Meadows, residents and local leaders say the book retailer had become more than just a store. For many, the bookshop had been a community center complete with a coffee shop and children’s reading groups. The last customers lamented its passing.

“This library is a staple of the neighborhood,” said Veronica Sorrell, a longtime customer who came to the store on its last day. “And I never thought this place would close.”

Sorrell said the shop had become a quiet refuge for her and her family over the years.

“I practically raised my kids here,” she said. “When they were children I brought them to the story time sessions. And as they get older they slowly graduated to the fiction section. Now that’s all gone.”

Nearby, Sister Winifred Doyle searched for a puzzle book.

“I knew it was the last day,” she said. “And I knew I had to come in here one last time.”

She continued, “You know, I love a good puzzle, especially word puzzles. It doesn’t matter how difficult they are. I beat them. But, for the life of me, I can’t solve the puzzle of why this store is closing.”

The store has been in the area since 2004, and Barnes & Noble’s management will not be renewing its lease. The book chain’s management couldn’t reach an agreement over a lease extension earlier this year. A T.J. Maxx is set to replace the book store in 2015.

“We had discussions with the property owner to try to structure a lease extension, but were not able to come to an agreement,” said David Deason, the vice president of development for Barnes & Noble. “We enjoyed serving our St. John’s/Fresh Meadows-area customers for the last 10 years and look forward to continuing to serve them at the nearby Bayside location.”

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Barnes & Noble in Fresh Meadows to close


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Angy Altamirano

It’s the end of a chapter for Barnes & Noble.

The Queens Courier has learned that the bookstore on Union Turnpike in Fresh Meadows will be closing at the end of this year.

The store has been in the area since 2004 and residents and local leaders considered the place to be a community center complete with a coffee shop and children’s reading groups. The lease for the store ends on January 31, 2015, and a lease agreement between the owner and the store was scrapped.

“We had discussions with the property owner to try to structure a lease extension, but were not able to come to an agreement,” said David Deason, the vice president of development for Barnes & Noble. “We enjoyed serving our St. John’s/Fresh Meadows-area customers for the last 10 years and look forward to continuing to serve them at the nearby Bayside location.”

The store first opened in June 2004. Residents in the community lamented the news of the location’s upcoming closing.

“I love that store,” said Joan Piconni, a Fresh Meadows resident. “I was so happy when it opened, I was doing a dance.”

She continued, “When I first heard that it was going to close, I said, ‘Oh my God, I’m going to go through withdrawals without my Barnes & Noble.’ We need a bookstore in this area. We have many schools in this area and the students all go there for research and homework.”

Mike Sidell, a member of Community Board 8, said that it was particularly troublesome that the store was closing, because it wasn’t due to a lack of business but because the property owner and the store couldn’t agree on a lease extension.

He noted that politicians and activists in the Bronx “saved the day” when the Barnes & Noble there, which served as the only full-service bookstore in the borough, was on the brink of closing. The community, he said, pulled together and saved the store from being closed. And he suggested that people in Queens should do the same.

“I feel [the Fresh Meadows Barnes & Noble] was good for the community because people from the surrounding Queens areas use it too,” Sidell said.

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Cyber Monday: Avoid crowds with a click


| aaltman@queenscourier.com

Photo screenshot/amazon.com

Those with an aversion to crowds and lines are opting to stay home and score deals with a simple mouse click.

Cyber Monday, coined in the mid-00s, quickly became one of the biggest online shopping days for retailers, offering the option of avoiding the angry mobs that grow outside of stores just hours after finishing their Thanksgiving meals.

According to published reports, 39 percent of the population plans to spend less than $100 on Cyber Monday, while 54 percent of adults expect to drop between $100 and $500. Only a small six percent of people said they would spend somewhere above $500.

Cyber Monday’s familiarity among the population is also on the rise. Sixty one percent of adults report they know what Cyber Monday is, up from 48 percent who said the same in a 2011 survey. Only 28 percent of the population said they did not know about Cyber Monday, with 12 percent remaining unsure.

According to Forbes, clothing is the top item purchased on Cyber Monday.

A manager at the Barnes and Noble store in Bayside said last week that while an increasing number of people are opting to shop online instead of braving crazy crowds, there would still be a line outside the store before opening hours.

“I do expect people to shop online more because of the convenience,” said the manager. “But I do still expect to see a crowd over the weekend.”

The manager said she did not think deals in the store would differ from deals online.

Some struggling under tough economic times have decided to forgo deal diving, regardless of its online ease.

“No, I’m not going shopping on Cyber Monday because I don’t have enough money,” said Gail Johnson from Bayside.

“Even though you get better deals on Cyber Monday than Black Friday.”

-Additional reporting by Melissa Mott