A dispute over the cost of rent is the apparent cause of the demise of Plainfield’s Barnes & Noble store.
A rep for the company this week confirmed that the store will close by the end of the year after the bookseller was unable to work out a new lease agreement with its landlord.
Shoppers at the location, open for more than a decade, were greeted this week by large signs advertising a storewide clearance sale.
Without elaborating, Barnes & Noble Vice President of Development David Deason issued a statement on the store closing.
“We worked diligently with the property owner to work out an agreement that would allow us to keep the store open; unfortunately we were unable to reach an economic agreement,” Deason said.
The store is located in the Kensington Center development, which is anchored by a Target store and home to retailers including Maurice’s, Dress Barn and GameStop.
Edwards Realty Company, which manages the property, did not respond to Patch’s request for comment.
Village Planner Michael Garrigan said the village worked to help the two parties come to an agreement.
“The village attempted to be very, very aggressive as it relates to making sure they did not vacate or leave that store,” Garrigan said. “Obviously, there’s no other way to say it — it’s a setback. Barnes & Noble is an important tenant.”
Garrigan said the village was willing to offer a “substantial” sales tax rebate to help keep the store open.
However, Garrigan said neither side seemed all that invested in reaching an agreement.
“Unfortunately, [Barnes & Noble] didn’t perceive the numbers came out in their favor,” he said. “It’s my understanding that they were an underperforming store.”
Meanwhile, the landlord may have some other prospects for renting the space, Garrigan said.
“It was a business decision,” he said. “The landlord was willing to do everything possible … They couldn’t give the space away.”
While Garrigan said he would like to see another bookstore set up shop in the location, he acknowledged that brick and mortar booksellers are struggling, especially as readers embrace downloadable e-books.
“Unfortunately, it’s a national trend,” he said.
The closing isn’t the only recent retail casualty in Plainfield; the Staples store, 13305 S. Route 59, has closed, Garrigan said.
Staples did not respond to messages from Patch.