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B. Dalton store in GF to close in January

On the heels of last week's news that Waldenbooks in Columbia Mall will close in January, B.Dalton, the other bookstore in the mall, is closing, too, a store supervisor said Thursday evening.

On the heels of last week's news that Waldenbooks in Columbia Mall will close in January, B.Dalton, the other bookstore in the mall, is closing, too, a store supervisor said Thursday evening.

Customers in the store are being told, "especially if they have memberships," said the supervisor. "But it won't close until after Christmas."

It's part of a national trend by the nation's two biggest bookstore chains to get out of the smaller-store market and concentrate on "superstores."

Barnes & Noble Inc. owns B. Dalton, which was started by the Dayton company of Minneapolis. Last month, Barnes & Noble announced it would close all its remaining 50 B. Dalton stores by Jan. 31, except for two.

Barnes & Noble had a small Grand Forks store at UND until a year ago when it let its lease go. The bookstore, which also serves as the UND bookstore for student textbooks and other materials, has a new owner.

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Borders Group Inc., parent of Waldenbooks, said Nov. 5 that it was downsizing the bookstore chain, closing 200 by Jan. 31, cutting 1,500 jobs. That will leave about 130 Waldenbooks stores. There are 13 employees of the store, the manager told the Herald last week.

Barnes & Noble has 774 stores nationwide; it's closing all but two of its 50 remaining B. Daltons.

A market analyst said Thursday, in an unrelated story about market prospects of Barnes & Noble, the publicly traded company is "the premier brick and mortar retailer in a still-fractured bookselling market."

Concentrating on the large stores makes sense, the analyst said, because they still are making money.

Borders has 531 superstores, which average six times the volume of volumes than Waldenbook mall stores, news reports say.

The two book chains' plans to close hundreds of stores in the next few months adds to the woes of malls nationwide that are facing the highest vacancy rates -- above 8.5 percent -- since 2000, according to news reports.

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