Books-A-Million to close Midtown location, new retailer to take space

By Zaneta Lowe  - bio | email

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Books-A-Million is closing its doors on April 15th in Cross Country Plaza off Macon Road. 

Glenwood Development Co.  Principal Leo Wiener says the store's lease was up and the decision to part ways was mutual. "There was not a meeting of the minds between the two." 

Wiener wouldn't disclose specifics about negotiations, but says they had some concern over the long term viability of a bookstore.  "We need tenants who are going to be there long term," Weiner said. 

He added that Publix has signed a lease agreement of more than 20 years.  Wiener also cited a slump in sales since the entry of Barnes and Nobles to the market, as well as national troubles in general for bookstores as some of the reasons for the departure.

We contacted Books-A-Million corporate headquarters and are waiting for a response.  According to the company's website, Books-A-Million operates more than 200 stores in 23 states, and is the third largest book retailer in the nation.

The Birmingham, AL based company says it operates retail stores based on three formats:  Books-A-Million Superstores (which are around 20,000 square feet); Bookland; and Joe Muggs Newsstands Books-A-Million also operates wholesale distribution. 

Weiner noted the Cross Country location is around 20,000 square feet.

Meanwhile, Weiner says Glenwood Development will announce later today who will go in the Books-A-Million space.  He wouldn't provide the retailer's name, but says it will be new to the Columbus market.  He added the store sells furniture and electronics.  "We're really confident in how this project will turn out," Weiner said.

Glenwood is already in the process of a re-development at Cross Country.  The demolition phase is complete and Weiner says construction for the new, two-story Publix should begin in the next two weeks. 

The facelift for the remainder of the shopping plaza will occur later. 

Weiner says they are still on target for a completion date of late fall of 2011. 

Once Publix moves, the old Publix will likely be divided to accommodate two retailers. 

Weiner says they're in talks with multiple companies, but no decisions have been made.  They hope to have those retailers in place by January 2012.

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