By Chuck Ross
On the heels of the news that troubled bookseller Barnes & Noble is closing its showcase store across from Lincoln Center in New York, TVWeek has learned from employees of the booksellers’ stores in two high-end neighborhoods in the Los Angeles area that they will be likely closing as well at the end of the year.
These are the Barnes & Noble stores in Encino and Calabasas, both in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles.
Both stores are in malls owned by Caruso Affiliated Holdings, LLC. Caruso also owns one of the hottest malls in L.A., The Grove.
An employee at one of the two Barnes & Noble’s locations told TVWeek that the stores are closing because "Caruso is asking too much money" in rent from the bookseller. Another employee used almost those same words in describing the situation.
However, Caruso spokesperson Jennifer Gordon says that talks with Barnes & Noble continue and "no decision has been reached" about the future of the two stores. She would not say on what issues the talks were focusing.
TVWeek also heard that if the Encino store closes it will be replaced by a CVS drug store. Gordon said she could not comment about that.
Earlier this month I wrote a blog entry decrying the closing of the store in New York.