By Kevin Deutsch
Barnes & Noble is inviting the public to a grand opening celebration at its new location at The Walk, the first of the chain’s bookstores to open in South Florida in 13 years.
Local author and photographer Melisa Caprio, author of Postcards to the Universe, A Global Movement for Manifestation, will sign books and cut the ribbon at the Oct. 6 event, scheduled for 10 a.m.
The bookseller’s much-beloved, 20-year-old location at the Walk closed in February 2020 amid a difficult market for retail bookstores.
After the closure, Amera Properties, the commercial real estate management company for The Walk, said they intended to work with Barnes & Noble to reopen a smaller store at the same location. This downsizing matched the chain’s new business model and format.
The expectation — pre-COVID-19 — was that the new location would be ready in just six months. A lengthier delay has ensued.
The former 27,000 square-foot location at 2790 N. University Dr. has since been split into two, with Trader Joe’s leasing the north side at 2796 N. University Dr and Barnes & Noble now relocated next door.
Although Barnes & Noble will be half the size of its old location, the store is expected to pack plenty of literary goodies into smaller quarters.
The location will focus more on books and sell an assortment of non-book items, like greeting cards.
It will be about 14,000 square feet, making it roughly 12,000 sq. ft. smaller than the chain’s typical locations.
In a press release, the company said the store marks a “striking change” in appearance for the bookseller: “light and airy, with large book rooms and beautiful displays of puzzles, board games, and toys.”
In addition to the event with Caprio, the store plans to hold more book signings this year and larger events in 2022.
“We are so excited to be re-opening here at The Walk,” said Karen Foster, the store manager. “ We share in the joy of all the book lovers who reached out to us during our closure to let us know how much they loved our store and wanted us to return. I want them to know that we heard them and have been rushing full speed ahead towards this re-opening.”
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- Kevin Deutsch is an award-winning crime journalist and author. A graduate of Florida International University, Kevin has worked on staff at The Miami Herald, New York Daily News, and The Palm Beach Post.
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