Spokeswoman: Bethesda Barnes & Noble Sticking Around

News came yesterday that big box bookstore Barnes & Noble will close about 30 percent of its 689 stores in the next decade after another down year of book sales.

That could mean a big loss for Bethesda Row, where the Barnes & Noble at 4801 Bethesda Avenue serves as an anchor store and perhaps the most prominent landmark in the bustling mixed-use development project.

Company spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating said “we expect to be [in Bethesda] for many years to come,” though she wouldn’t specify how long the company’s lease is other than to say it was long term.

A marketing representative for Rockville-based Federal Realty, which owns the property, did not return a request for comment.

Keating told Bethesda Patch the company “has great real estate in prime locations and the company’s management is fully committed to the retail concept for the long term.”

Earlier this month, Barnes & Noble announced a 10.9 percent decline in retail sales during the nine-week 2012 holiday season compared to 2011. Most of that decline came from new stores open for less than a year.

Flickr photo by North Bethesda Market


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