Barnes &Noble to locate new store in Brentwood

Judith Prieve

Nearly two decades after opening East Contra Costa County’s only large book store at Antioch’s Slatten Ranch, the retailer will be heading down the road to a similar-sized site in Brentwood.

The new site is 1.5 miles away at the Streets of Brentwood shopping complex, filling a prime anchor spot vacated by REI in 2014 – only five years after the outdoor sporting goods giant opened shop there.

“They (Barnes & Noble) are staying in the market, which is good for East County,” said Jim Shepherd, a broker for Slatten Ranch shopping center. “There aren’t really any other bookstores out there.”

Deborah Hanks, a spokesman for Barnes & Noble, confirmed the move and said the business is targeting an early fall opening.

“Our lease ended in Antioch and we have found a new home at Brentwood, which will feature our new layout and design,” she said.

The new nearly 21,000-square-foot store on Sand Creek Road will consist of book “rooms” created by a series of bookcases with each room designed specifically for a particular subject or genre. It also will include a cafe.

Customers shop at Barnes and Noble bookstore in Concord, Calif., on Friday, Aug. 26, 2022. Barnes and Noble will open a new location in Walnut Creek next month. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group) 

“The flow of the rooms encourages browsing and is intended to take you on a seamless journey throughout the store with the room locations and adjacencies transitioning through a series of categories relating to each other,” Hanks said.

The spokesman added that each individual store location now curates its subject selection based on customer interest.

“It will vary based on that market and the size of the store,” she said.

Janine Flanigan, also a Barnes&Noble spokesman, said it was exciting to move to a new space and use the new design, which is similar to the one in the Walnut Creek store, which opened in 2022. Another 31 locations opened with the new format in 2023, she said, noting the retailer is planning to expand with 50 more this year.

“The store is going to be absolutely beautiful,” Flanigan said, adding it will be decorated in a light-colored theme.

All 30 employees at the current site will be offered jobs at the new location and she said she expects the Antioch store to remain until the new one is ready to open its doors.

Assistant Brentwood City Manager Darin Gale said the city learned the retailer was looking for a new location last year and called the move “huge” for Brentwood.

City Manager Tim Ogden and his economic development team helped look for a new tenant for the vacant shopping center site, he said.

“The city has taken efforts to work with the property owner to identify users for that site,” Gale said. “And after almost 10 years, city staff was successfully able to work with the property owner” to identify a quality tenant.

Gale added that the city sees Barnes and Noble as “a great addition to the Streets of Brentwood center,” which has limited spaces still open. Prime tenants like Barnes & Noble also will attract more customers to support other small businesses at the center, he added.

“Bookstores (in general) are not expanding, but what I would tell you is Brentwood has the demographics that is attracting key retailers to the city,” Gale said. “What we have is a population that’s highly educated, with a higher than average disposable income for the region.”

The nearby Antioch location “was still pretty strong,” Antioch’s Acting City Manager Kwame Reed added, noting there are a lot of factors that come into play when deciding to relocate, from leases ending to better deals elsewhere.

Slatten Ranch’s broker, meanwhile, said he has seen “a great deal of interest” from other businesses in the 23,000-square-foot site that the bookstore is leaving.

“There’s a great retail synergy right at that intersection,” Shepherd said of the Lone Tree Way/bypass area near Slatten Ranch, with major retailers like Home Depot, Trader Joe’s, Best Buy and more within a two-mile radius.

“It’s a very strong market,” Shepherd added. “You know there’s a lot of interest still out in the Brentwood/Antioch market, so that’s a good thing.”

Check back for updates.

Judith Prieve Business,Economy,Latest Headlines,Real Estate,Retail,PM report,Regional,Retail Development

2024-01-04 21:48:55 , Brentwood – East Bay Times

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