City looks for new bookseller
by Michael Langley
Dec 19, 2013 | 5950 views | 10 10 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
The city of Tracy is going to start looking for a bookstore to replace the Barnes & Noble closing Dec. 31 at the West Valley Mall.

City Manager Leon Churchill announced during the regular meeting of the City Council on Tuesday, Dec. 17, that he had added a bookstore to the list of economic development goals for Tracy. He said the search was a response to comments his office had received from citizens and an online petition to keep Barnes & Noble, 3150 Naglee Road.

“You clearly have a demand,” Churchill said in an interview Wednesday, Dec. 18. “If you look at the sheer numbers, people are interested and want that venue.”

Churchill told council members Tuesday that Barnes & Noble’s business decision to leave the mall, reported by the Tracy Press on Aug. 23, was in response to sales figures at the store. Rouse Properties, owner of West Valley Mall, has already contracted with The Sports Authority Inc. to fill the space by the end of the first quarter of 2014.

The city manager said Wednesday that his staff would work with retail brokers to find smaller businesses.

“You probably have to have private booksellers, because chains don’t really exist anymore,” Churchill said.

He did caution that many private booksellers have ties to the communities they are in, so finding one willing to move to Tracy might prove a challenge.

“It’s a difficult search,” Churchill said. “If we had a bookseller in the community, they would already be here.”

• Contact Michael Ellis Langley at 830-4231 or

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January 03, 2014
It's all about money the company that runs the mall wants more rent and barnes and noble refuses. Good for barnes and noble sorry they are leaving now our mall will resemble the hand me down mall on Mcarthur rd. The city just doesn't get yet single story malls are just mini malls.
December 26, 2013
Why? Government stay out, the store failed because of sales numbers it is simple. Survival of the fittest. I can go into a Target, Walmart, or Costco to get a decent amount of books for the same price as the bookstore. Or if I can wait I just order the book online or if I am really impatient, Kindle.
December 20, 2013
The efforts by the city to bring in another book store seem misguided and unnecessarily intrusive. Book stores are going the way of the dinosaurs, pay phones and vinyl records. There is no point in fighting it. It makes no sense to go to a store for a book when you can get the same book online cheaper and without having to drive to buy it. You don't even have to buy a print copy that needlessly wastes paper and ink. One would think the city would be all over folks going online for e-books instead of driving to a store since it fits in with their green goals.

The bigger concern here though is that it is not the business of government to help mall owners find tenants. Tax payers simply shouldn't be footing the bill for such efforts. Let the mall owners find a new tenant themselves. The best thing the city could do it butt out and let the mall owners find a new tenant that fits current economic realities. That will likely lead to a more successful outcome than the city trying to dictate the installation of the same type of business that just left due to an inability to profit in that location.
December 20, 2013
It never ceases ta amaze me at how many people seem ta feel th world revolves around them an thair community.

If these people had been payin attention ta th world around em instead of focusin all of thair attention on thair relatively small speck of land thair community sits on, they should have realized that Barns & Nobel has been following a reduction/ store closure plan where over 175 of thair stores across th nation were scheduled ta be closed.

This was a business decision from thair board of directors an had very little ta do with th taxes those stores paid into th local communities.

On but it was th city's fault. Oh but it was th county's fault. Oh but it was th State's fault.

Who else can we blame? Let's blame the citizens who mainly shop for such things on-line from Amazon. Oddly enough the same citizens that will buy from WalMart when they can get the same item at a higher price an less customer service from a place like Target and th rest of the retailers in the Mall. Oh yeah, I forgot, it's the Mall's fault for letting them go.

How about it was a business decision an no one's fault?

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

January 03, 2014
you need either to use spell check or go back to school better yet proof read what you type before submitting.
December 20, 2013
I don't know all the facts about why Barnes&Noble left the mall but was wondering if the city had stepped in to help (like they did when they gave Macy's money to move it) they wouldn't have to be looking for another bookstore.

Amazon is nice but it doesn't replace the feeling of walking through a good bookstore like Barnes&Noble. The atmosphere of seeing students sitting on the floor doing studies, the children in the back corner with their parents reading them stories, the countless bodies with laptops drinking Starbuck's sitting at the tables, is priceless.

The front doors and registers weren't cluttered as I knew it. Everything that was there was there for a reason. It's kind of like leaving the grocery store and having candy and magazines staring at you.

December 20, 2013
You said it. Nice place to "walk through". As long as you don't step on a teenager leafing through teen romance novels, like it's the library.

Honestly, they had a lot of clutter. When other stores discovered lower shelves, they decided taller. Taller displays at the registers. It was like a fun house.

Some days the coffee shop made more money than the bookstore. They even tried to give you a BN membership card. When that didn't work they brought in games and other "stuff" till the place started to look like Gottschalks, which also went Bankrupt.

Give them money? Big NO NO!

I would suggest a Peets.

Also an extension of the library with a book exchange, and finally some comfortable seating for adults.

The WV mall only needs some place where children can be entertained and parents can sit comfortably and drink coffee and eat a sandwich or sip our home brought chamomile tea.

Was nice place to park and walk to a movie, because the teenagers were sitting on the floor instead of smoking outside the movie theater. Always plenty of parking spots outside the bookstore so it was a nice place to park and as you said "walk through".

No bailout. Sorry, Macys was a good. This is not.
December 20, 2013
They had clutter at the front door and the registers, old maps like AAA used to give, CD's for learning languages, some old astrology crap, few magazines, coffee, and a children's story area.

Aside from that they often didn't have the books I wanted and only offered to order it in a week, if I pre-paid. I could get it faster on Amazon and get free shipping with Amazon Prime and use BillMeLater.

They needed to kick it up a notch if they want to compete with Amazon. But they didn't. It ain't Amazon's fault for offering us what we really want.
December 19, 2013
I agree with mthouseman on the Amazon comment 100%. Who else is there that would come here or anywhere else! Looking for some small private company is a waste of time. Amazon would show them the door in no time like they continue to squash many other types of businesses. People talk about Walmart quite often, but Amazon is just as bad if not worse.
December 19, 2013
We have a bookseller here in Tracy, it's called Amazon, and is a big reason places like B&N no longer have a place in the mall.

I liked to walk through B&N, but there is no reason to pay extra for the same book I can get online.

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