Bethesda Row’s Barnes & Noble to close

WASHINGTON — The Barnes & Noble store at Bethesda Row, located at the corner of Bethesda and Woodmont avenues, will close when its lease is up at the end of the year.

The three-story store, a popular neighborhood hangout, was one of the first retailers at Bethesda Row, opening in November 1996.

“The lease at our Bethesda location will expire at the end of 2017, and the store will close then,” said David Deason, vice president of development, in a statement.

“We had discussions with the property owner in hopes of agreeing to an extension of the lease. But unfortunately, we were unable to come to an agreement,” the statement said.

The closure will leave Barnes & Noble with nine stores open in the D.C. region, the closest to the Bethesda Row location being on Rockville Pike.

Barnes & Noble continues to face declining sales at its brick-and-mortar bookstores.

Barnes & Noble, which operates about 640 stores nationwide, had $70.3 million in profits in its most recent quarter, a $10 million drop from earnings in the same quarter a year ago. Sales fell to $1.3 billion, compared with $1.41 billion in the same quarter a year earlier.

It has forecast fiscal 2017 comparable store sales to fall by another 7 percent.

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Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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