Quiet talk has been around for a few weeks, but now red clearance sale signs have gone up — 30 percent off on a lot of books — and store clerks acknowledged today that they have been given the word. The multi-story Barnes & Noble at Pico and Westwood boulevards will close around the end of the year. Word on the street is that the H&M store in Westside Pavilion will expand into the higher-profile corner location. There's no official confirmation from the mall or from Barnes & Noble.
I was told in the store that there will be a bigger final sale yet to come. The 30 percent sale that's on only covers selected merchandise. The tables and shelves remain well stocked.
When I mention the prospect of B&N closing to my fellow Westsiders, they verbally throw their hands up in front of their faces, as if blocking a blow. The store always seems busy with overflow from the multi-screen Landmark Theatres, it has three floors of space, windows onto the street, a cafe, easy parking by mall standards and bus connections to everywhere. What are you going to do. With its closure, I think the closest big general bookstores to Westwood and West Los Angeles are the Barnes and Nobles on 3rd Street Promenade in Santa Monica and at The Grove — ten miles apart — plus the Ackerman Union store at UCLA. That's it.
Already closed: The Beauty Company, across Pico from Barnes & Noble on the northwest corner.
* Update at LA Biz Observed: Why Barnes & Noble is quietly shutting some stores
Previously in LA Observed Books:
Author visits Metropolis Books 'with a heavy heart'
Scott Wannberg, poet of Dutton's was 58
Wait, some good news: a new bookstore
Bookstore down: Village Books to close its doors
Appreciating the art of the LAPD report
Mystery Bookstore in Westwood to close
LA Observed photo