Shoppers React to Barnes & Noble's Closing

Reston store will close at the end of February, and most book lovers are quite upset.

Restonians will soon be without a bookstore, news that is not sitting well with shoppers who frequent Barnes & Noble.

The store at Reston's Spectrum Center Barnes & Noble officials said on Tuesday. The Container Store will open in that spot later in 2013, said a spokesman for Lerner Enterprises, which owns the shopping center.

Barnes & Noble said it wanted to stay, but could not reach a lease agreement with Lerner.

In comments on Reston Patch and on Reston Patch's Facebook page, book lovers voiced their opinion on the change.

"I love bookstores and specifically B&N. I cherish those days especially in winter when I can go there and enjoy quiet time thumbing through books, magazines, and cards while sipping my coffee," said one reader.

Said another: "I've made many memories there with my kids! The staff was always so kind and it was a great way to get kids interested in books at a young age."

Meanwhile, a "Save the Reston Barnes & Noble" petition has been started. Organizers are hoping that a grassroots effort - much like the Rescue Reston group that is advocating for Reston National Golf Course to stay as open space despite an inquiry about development from the course's owner - will spark change, even though a longterm lease has already been signed by The Container Store.

To access the petition, click here.



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Karen Goff December 07, 2012 at 10:59 PM
WigChew- an update - Greenberry's in Reston closed on Oct. 30.
Nancy Nunan December 08, 2012 at 07:22 PM
For those who want to sign the written petition, my son and his friends and parents/responsible adults will be in front of Barnes and Noble at 2 pm tomorrow (Sunday, December 9).
Karen Goff December 08, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Thanks, Nancy. I may come by to speak to him.
Florence Frey December 08, 2012 at 09:13 PM
Mr. Robinson was right when he told Dustin Hoffman's character that "it's all about plastic, plastic is the future" or some such malarky. Everyone thought that was hilarious and preposterous! At that time housewives were earning money selling Tupperware from there living rooms. Now plastic is so important that it has replaced BOOKS in Reston! Who would have thunk? It's all about real estate developers gettting their way to the detriment of our community. Our beautiful Reston needs some divine intervention, cause mortals ain't getting the job done here!
Lilguy December 08, 2012 at 09:53 PM
Actually, Stu, there was money in a bond issue for a new Reston and other FCPL libraries about 8-9 years ago. All the money went to the other libraries. Why should we think that the funding approved in November will go to Reston? FYI: It's called "bait & switch" and it's against the law except when politicians do it.
Joy Charles December 10, 2012 at 06:19 PM
Why is there all this crying about a big-box book store when there is a grossly underutilized PUBLIC LIBRARY only a block away?! Come on people, our library is a great place! I prefer to bring my little ones to the library than to a store that sells as much toys/gifts/chocolate etc as it does reading materials. Good grief. When was the last time you went to Reston Regional Library or The Reston Used Book Shop at Lake Anne? If you really want to support your community try frequenting those awesome places first. Secondly, The Container Store is a wonderful company. They bring a tremendous amount of positive things to the communities they choose to open stores in. They partner (generously so) with local nonprofits, they are a destination store that will bring high-end shoppers from other communities into Reston, and they offer a unique service. So far beyond plastic boxes. Give them a chance!
The Convict December 10, 2012 at 07:28 PM
So, here's my cynical take on this. Lerner doesn't actually want a successful business in that mall. They want to put stuff in there that's going to fail. If they can generate enough failure, when they want to redevelop the location, they'll be able to say that using the existing space has proved to be economically unfeasible and, therefore, the BoS should allow them to redevelop as they see fit over the protestations of the filthy masses. I know, I know. It sounds kind of twisted and self-defeating, but it's no more far-fetched than, say, the House Republicans keeping the economy in the tank and refusing to pass any kind of legislation that might help in order to make sure that the then-current President is a one-termer and that they're boy wins the election.
Nancy Nunan December 10, 2012 at 07:37 PM
Hi Ms. Charles I was at the Reston Regional Public library a week ago, and at the Reston Used Book Shop LAST week. We frequent both of them, in addition to the Barnes and Noble. Just because folks want a B&N in Reston doesn't mean they don't frequent the used book store or the library. I certainly can't get everything I need at either place. I love the used book store for certain things, the library for certain things, and the B&N for certain things. There's value and room for all three.
Laurie Dodd December 10, 2012 at 09:08 PM
I am with you about use of the library and Reston Used Book Store. But B&N supports local organizations (like the Herndon High Choir, which sang at a B&N book fair on Friday, and the Civitan Club, which was wrapping gifts in exchange for donations during that event). The Container Store seems targeted to help people accumulate more STUFF, including better ways to store their stuff - not unique, and not a business I support. Having one Container Store at Tysons is plenty.
Joy Charles December 11, 2012 at 03:21 AM
Most likely The Container Store will close its Tysons store as the lot it is inhabiting now no longer fits the profile of what the company looks for and I'm sure the area will be redeveloped. This will make Reston it's most suburban store in the DC area. And if I could show you my storage areas, any of them, you might rethink your assumptions on what The Container Store is all about. Saying that they seem targeted to help people accumulate stuff is like saying Harris Teeter is promoting obesity. Their focus is on helping people find targeted organization solutions for their home and business. I know people who work for The Container Store, really great and intelligent (and organized) people who believe in the services they offer. I think you would be very surprised. For the record, my husband and I hung out at B&N when we were dating, we walked there often from our Market street condo as newlyweds, our two toddler boys have spent quite a few hours tossing that store like a salad and spilling Starbucks everywhere. Yes, I'm sad to see it go, BUT I'm a business women, I get this. I would love to see a another book seller in Reston. But that space needs to be filled by a "magnet" store.
Joy Charles December 11, 2012 at 03:28 AM
Redevelopment plans are already getting approved for that whole area (all the way to Harris Teeter) and having really stable companies leasing those spaces is essential. Best Buy and The Container Store have quite a few stores leased next to each other all over the country because of their stability. The Container Store is VERY picky about where it puts its stores.
Joy Charles December 11, 2012 at 03:44 AM
Oh I agree! I would love to see another bookstore in Reston! But I bet that is THE most prime lot on Reston Parkway at the moment. It's visibility and placement are too valuable. There needs to be a "magnet" store there, I think that's just good business. We NEED shoppers from other communities to come here and support all our stores and to help get those empty storefronts filled. Then perhaps a B&N could actually turn a profit in Reston.
LInda A Singer December 11, 2012 at 10:01 PM
We will have one bookstore left--the used bookstore at Lake Anne. A container store will not draw customers as B&N did to the shopping center Lerner is not doing a favor to any of their other occupants.
Joy Charles December 12, 2012 at 02:34 PM
Hi Linda, The Container Store actually has a HUGE following from all around VA. This is a VERY well thought out and researched move by a very careful and conservative company. No one ever traveled hours to come to our B&N.
Keith Berry December 12, 2012 at 03:10 PM
I guess buying way over priced plastic containers at a store that needs to pay the same rent, makes sense for people glued to their Ipads and Kindles, I mean where else can you get a container for your paper clips? Maybe Office Depot? Building up might be great for business, but if a landlord wants to force people to leave based on money, you will have another Tysons Corner here in Reston, traffic in Tysons is so bad businesses are moving back to Arlington and Maryland, I fear the greed in the area will be our own undoing. This building up mentality makes me so glad I moved out of Reston years ago.
Maggie December 12, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Keith, you've never actually been in a Container Store, right?
Ann Marie December 29, 2012 at 08:41 PM
Not only does B&N sell books, they also have a good selection of children's toys and games, another thing that is now virtually unavailable in Reston. Remember Zany Brainy and Imaginarium? Books-a-Million? With those stores gone, where do you go for a last minute high quality gift for a birthday party? What about fundraisers? Through 3 different schools, we've had fundraisers at B&N. Everyone agrees that reading is the number one criteria for success in schools. It makes sense to have fundraisers at a bookstore. It conveys a consistent message. A bookstore is not the same as a library. Have you ever tried to get a popular book, recently released, at the library? Good luck. Yes, I buy books from Amazon - but I also buy books at B&N because (1) it's convenient (2) I need it that day or (3) I find an interesting book that I wouldn't otherwise have found by browsing. We have Nooks and iPads. It is a different reading experience. I don't think you can call Reston a community without a bookstore - a REAL bookstore, not a used bookstore. Bookstores and coffee shops are gathering places. I don't see anyone gathering in the Container Store. I don't know what all the factors are in Lerner's decision, but as a community, we need a bookstore. I go to the bookstore about once every other week. I go to the Container Store once a year. Our neighborhoods should serve OUR needs, not the needs of Lerner Enterprises.
wynford lyddane January 02, 2013 at 03:03 AM
Is there a shortage of overpriced containers, imported from China, at the Target store down the street or Walmart etc? I had no idea we needed another store so close by for such goods. Our community desperately needs Barnes and Noble to stay. Just when Reston was finally becoming a great place to live, we lose our one and only large book store. A major blow to our local educational and cultural environment! How SAD. Way to go Lerner.
Joy Charles January 02, 2013 at 03:46 AM
FYI, Barnes and Noble LET their lease expire. They did not put up some sort of fight to stay like is being imagined. Our location did not make enough profits to make it worth their while to keep it. Of course B&N has an strong corporate image to protect and does not want to be seen as "cutting-back" so it puts the decision on Lerner. Having a book store in Reston is great, but we didn't financially support it the way it needed to be supported to pay the lease. I was at B&N with my kids this weekend, we had a nice time, I drank my Starbucks, they ran around, we bought a couple books and a DVD. I will miss B&N for sure. But casting Lerner or The Container Store as the villain in this story is just not accurate. WE as the consumers made this choice. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one in Reston that spent more at Amazon and iTunes than I did at B&N.
Laurie Dodd January 02, 2013 at 04:21 AM
From a previous Patch article, found at http://reston.patch.com/articles/spectrum: >>>David Deason, Vice President of Development at Barnes & Noble, said the company wanted to stay in Reston and was willing to pay more to do so. “We tried extremely hard to come to an agreement with the property owner to extend the lease at our Reston location, but despite our offering significant additional rent, the property owner was unwilling to agree to an extension," he said in an email. "We regret that we will be closing this location at the end of February, 2013.”<<<
AmyK February 12, 2013 at 01:21 PM
I'm sure that Ms Charles's children will move on to other venues where they can terrorize the peace as they "toss the place like salad".
AmyK February 12, 2013 at 01:23 PM
It's a real shame that your children will no longer be able to run around there. However I'm sure you'll find another public place for them to disturb the quiet of those around them
Michelle Bowen February 26, 2013 at 02:30 PM
AmyK who ate your cereal this morning.
Brad Newberg March 02, 2013 at 06:00 PM
I don't think the Lerners, who aren't in Reston, realize or care that this is bad for Reston. There is NO ONE who is going to move to or from Reston because we do or don't have a Container Store. There are plenty of people who feel like the lack of a large bookstore for a beautiful and prestigious town like Reston is unacceptable. Not having B&N is bad for the businesses around it and in the long-term bad for the Lerners. This is short-sighted at best.
Brad Newberg March 02, 2013 at 06:03 PM
This is exactly correct. The cultural environment of Reston is important and replacing a bookstore with a container store is a major blow to the fabric of the Town Center.
Brad Newberg March 02, 2013 at 06:04 PM
I don't buy this. As someone who is/was in B&N multiple times a week, it has been packed for the most part, including at the check-out line.
Mike M March 02, 2013 at 06:26 PM
Michelle, Amy is merely taking a hostile and personal swipe a someone who made a reasonable post in disagreement with her. It's routine in here for folks of a certain "west side "of the political spectrum to do that. This is because they don't get basic economics and how the world really works. They only know how they feel. They want their government (an extension of the role once played by their mommy and daddy) to make the world in the image they want. Never mind such annoying realities as practicality and cost. It's like a kid who can't get what he wants so he acts out emotionally.
Michael Barrett April 07, 2013 at 04:11 AM
I regret to say that I learned about the closing of the B&N after it closed and I also regret to say that I learned about it from an employee of the Container Store at Tyson's where I was shopping. I am sad to see the store go and I don't believe that I ever visited it without buying something. I certainly never went there to explore what I might ultimately buy on line (as many Best Buy shoppers do). It was fun going to the store because you inevitably see something that you would never have found in the somewhat regimented on line venues. It’s somewhat like the difference between reading the news on line rather than in a hard copy of a newspaper—your eye catches articles that you very well might have missed on line. I only wish that B&N had originally opened in the Town Center rather than in the Spectrum Center. A bookshop should be located where there is a lot of pedestrian traffic where people don’t have to make it an isolated destination. An example is the very popular B&N in Bethesda, located at a busy intersection with the Landmark Theatres across the street. It's a great place to meet someone before or after a movie, or before or after dinner at one of the many restaurants there. I would hope that if there is any chance of inducing B&N to return, or if a smaller, independent bookseller would consider opening here, that it could be in the Town Center. Such a store definitely does not belong in a strip mall at least in this town.
Keith Berry April 07, 2013 at 03:53 PM
I have lived and worked near the Town Center for many years and B&N was like a sanctuary and I would have to say Reston may be growing, but it is not growing in the sense of community, it was a real community years ago where small and large businesses coexisted. Ordering books online just helps people who demand convenience over due diligence I guess Reston is all about snobbery, impatience and a more main stream society of slaves to technology
kate christian May 07, 2013 at 06:00 PM
and John Grisham, and Paul Fleisher, and Paul Theroux, and Rita Dove, and Adriana Trigiani, and Patricia Cornwell, and, and, and.


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