Barnes & Noble on Grand River Avenue is closing

On December 31 the Barnes and Noble bookstore will be closed, according to employee Delon Wills.

Unsuspecting customers like Alli Cochran are shocked to hear the news.

“I had no idea the store was closing. This is very unfortunate,” said Cochran, a sophomore at Michigan State University.

“I come here between classes every day just to browse around and spend my free time,” said Cochran.

Reasons why the store is closing are unclear.

“I was told by management that the store was closing due to their ten year lease being up,” said Wills.

“I think it is more than that though, because when I asked my supervisor more questions he was a bit secretive. But I’ve heard that a lot of Barnes & Nobles are closing,” said Wills.

The business has been competing with Amazon.com and e-readers, offering lower prices to compete with the online booksellers, according to Wills.

Barnes & Nobles even created eBooks to compete with the demand for portable low-priced books.

“I hope it ( Barnes & Nobles) does not turn into another Borders situation,” said Elizabeth Davis, a loyal customer at the store.

Davis often takes her grandchildren to this location to spend time with them and enjoy literature together.

“This is a place were I can take my grandchildren. It gives me an outlet to find out what they enjoy and find out more about them; and we become closer as a result,” said Davis.

Many employees are being relocated to other stores as a result, according to Wills.

“I decided to continue to work here because it is guaranteed to be busy at the end of the year, which will give me more hours. Plus once they close I am guaranteed a raise at a new store because of my seniority,” said Wills.

The closing of the bookstore leaves Grand River Avenue with a big space to fill. The question is what is going to replace it?

“I’d like to see a hangout spot, something affordable for students where we can come and read and lounge,” said Cochran.

“I think it would be nice to see several businesses in place of the store since it is so big,” said Wills.

By Shanacee Shreve

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