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Duluth Barnes & Noble closing after 15 years

DULUTH — Few are more upset by the planned closure of Barnes & Noble on Pleasant Hill Road than 10-year-old Wesley Gemeinhardt.

The young man is both “sad and mad” that his favorite bookstore is closing. “It’s the only place that has my ‘39 Clues’ books,” Gemeinhardt said. “I won’t be able to find them at any other stores.”

While clutching two copies of the children’s adventure novels on Wednesday, he and his mom, Amber Abrams, stood outside the store watching customers walk in and out the doors.

Representatives of the book chain confirmed Wednesday that the location’s final day will be June 30, ending 15 years of operation at the 2205 Pleasant Hill Road location.

David Deason, vice president of development, said the lease for the store is expiring.

“There are no other B&N stores closing in the Atlanta market at this time,” Deason said. “We have 14 other Atlanta metro locations which will continue to serve our valued customers and hope to continue to serve our Duluth customers in one of these locations.”

Deason declined to provide the number of people employed at the local business but said that “booksellers from the Duluth store have been given the opportunity to interview at nearby locations and fill open positions there.”

A manager at the store also declined to give any more information.

Joe Allen, director of the Gwinnett Place Community Improvement District, said Wednesday that it came down to “negotiations with the owners about the lease based on what we were told.”

“We always hate to see a store close like that, but we’ve also had many new retailers coming into the market. It’s all part of the ebb and flow,” Allen said.

He added that he was surprised by the decision to close the local business, because “it’s always been full of people anytime I’ve ever been there ... but Barnes & Noble has certainly struggled in recent years.”

The Gwinnett Place CID aims to enhance the economic vitality of Gwinnett’s central business district by strengthening the area’s role as the center of commercial activity.

Christine Mills of Gwinnett County hopes that employees at the business do find jobs. “They’re all very nice and have always been helpful when I go in,” said Mills, standing outside the store on Wednesday. “It’s a shame.”

Abrams agreed, calling the situation “tragic.”

Her son, Wesley, said he’ll miss walking the aisles of the local bookstore: “It was a good place, and a good place to find books. It’s too bad it’s closing.”

Comments

news2me 1 year, 10 months ago

Borders is no more. This is round 1 for B&N, they always start with the lowest performers and then "lease negotiations" will kill the store. Amazon.

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icecold 1 year, 10 months ago

So sad. I spent many of the best years of my life in that store.

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hpytravlr 1 year, 10 months ago

Tragic. I cannot believe a store that is always full is closing. If anything I didn't like going there b/c it was too crowded.

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DB 1 year, 10 months ago

Not surprised. Many have fled the new demographics.

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icecold 1 year, 10 months ago

Yes, it has nothing to do with the fact that A. People are using E-book and B&N have been closing stores nation wide as a result and B. The demise of Gwinnett Place after discover mills and The Mall of GA opened up. But hey, any excuse to place the blame on other folks.

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geestreamgeefive 1 year, 10 months ago

Oh great....,,,,another Korean business will move in like a massage parlor, or better yet, just what Doolooth needs, another Korean church taking over tax exempt commercial property!!!!! yipeeeee!!!

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Mack711 1 year, 10 months ago

Next it will be the Public livraries. Everything has gone electronic and on the web, including this newspaper. Just the sign of the times. Sorry to see it close but we all know why.

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teelee 1 year, 10 months ago

The twentieth century man is dying a slow death. Future generations will live virtual life and have less and less interaction with each other. I miss going to the video store with my family and picking out movies on a Friday night. I miss going to Borders and we would all split up and go look at books, movies and music. I don't think think these teenagers today know how ridiculous they look constantly playing with their smart phones. I am so thankful that I grew up in the 70's where kids played until dark outside without the video games, 150 TV channels and cell phones distracting us.

None

by teelee

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Katrina 1 year, 10 months ago

I think all that playing outside until dark also kept us from becoming obese.

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jjbod1 1 year, 10 months ago

That whole area continues to rapidly decline due to the illegal influx, its really really sad. I don't ever see it coming back. They can keep throwing all the money they want into there so called CID, but until they start enforcing immigration laws, its a waist of time. Also just as a side note, i am not anti Korean, one of my best friends is 100% Korean, and if you talk to him and his family, they will tell you that more than 50% of the ones in that area are not here legally. Also a vast majority "not all" don't want anything to do with us Americans, that is why they have most of there signs in Korean, to keep us away. There is nothing wrong with other cultures coming here, but learn to become a American and speak English. Wake up Gwinnett!!!! Its time to take back out land!!

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kevin 1 year, 10 months ago

you said it best. The "reading community" is moving away from Duluth. Maybe they will replace that store with a T-shirt shop. Koreans don't want to read our books so why do we buy their products at these Korean stores around here? Shop local or wither away. Quit sending our money overseas and to people that hate us.

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JackGalt 1 year, 10 months ago

Koreans don't hate you kevin...but obviously the reverse cannot be true of you... They don't hate most Americans. As a race/culture they are perhaps the best friends we have in asia. As a ex-patriate population here in the US, the majority that I know(and that is quite a few) either are "Americans" or hopeful soon of US(American) Citizenship. The Monies spent in korean stores for the most part stays here. don't forget... the Korean people in these stores live here too...and love America enough to endure the occasional idiotic outburst from her natives, realizing that it is atypical of what it means to be American.

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icecold 1 year, 10 months ago

Of course you can't be racist because you have a Korean friend.

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JackGalt 1 year, 10 months ago

Curious, from whence cometh those ridiculous stats? Sounds like another over-exercised xenophobic churl. Koreans don't print their signs in Hangul to keep Americans (by your words I think you mean "white folks", not Americans) out. Koreans here in the US utilize american currency, and it is green and they have no qualms about from whence it comes. Most often when you see a sign in Hangul, it is advertising a product or service that only Koreans would have an interest in...such as a Korean bookstore(selling books in Hangul or english language courses), or korean appliance dealers(how many of us need computerized rice/pressure cookers or Kimchi refrigerators), or Traditional Korean activities such as Sauna and Karaoke establishments(Parnthetically, you would be perfectly welcome at any of these establishments as long as you are friendly and willing to pay for products or services offered) Get a grip.

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JackGalt 1 year, 10 months ago

oh and any area that tends to decline is generally due to the fault of the indigenous population, not the newcomers...

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Coolray 1 year, 10 months ago

Why all the hate? This seems like a disagreement between landlord and tenant. I loved the B&N store and shopped there all the time but I'll go to the one on Peachtree Parkway instead. Some people are so full of anger and hatred they don't miss a chance to go after people who aren't just like them.

I'll bet many of the posters on this board are good church going Christians who spout scripture about loving your neigbor and being a good samaritan. Try replacing your hollow scriptures with a little love and compassion.

STOP THE HATE IN GWINNETT!

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tressag5 1 year, 10 months ago

Did you really say "one of my best friends is Korean"? Now that's funny. On a separate issue, how is it that you plan to take back "our land" from the legal owner or lessee? Pitchforks and torches?

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dav 1 year, 10 months ago

Its alot cleaner and safer there than most of the surrounding areas, go down beaver ruin and indian trail and compare and if your really brave jimmy carter blvd

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Michael Buckelew 1 year, 10 months ago

It's a shame to see that store go since I bought many a book there. But that was many years ago. I'm part of that growing trend of people buying e-books instead of hard copies because of the ever-growing advantages. The one exception I have found is getting a gift like a signed copy of a book by Vince Dooley for Christmas. OK, THAT is a huge exception.

Considering that Best Buy is also hurting and closed a store in Loganville, it's not just books that are hurting. Easy-to-use websites like Amazon that charge very little for shipping much of the time and e-vendors like Amazon, iTunes and Barnes & Noble's digital books are radically changing everything.

Hopefully the employees at the store find new jobs nearby. I can't recall the last time I visited a bookstore and didn't find great service on finding a needle in a haystack.

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