Barnes and Noble Closes Flatiron Store as Textbook Sales Decline

By Heather Holland on January 8, 2014 4:11pm 

 Barnes & Noble at 105 Fifth Ave. closed on Monday.
Barnes & Noble at 105 Fifth Ave. closed on Monday.
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Wikimedia Commons

FLATIRON — Barnes & Noble has shuttered its college bookstore in Flatiron due to declining textbooks sales, the company said.

The bookstore, located at 105 Fifth Ave. near 18th Street, closed permanently on Monday because students have been opting to buy their textbooks online rather than visit the store, said Barnes & Nobles spokeswoman Mary Ellen Keating.

“That particular store served college students at a time when not many colleges had bookstores on campus,” Keating said of the store, which Barnes & Noble bought in 1972. “[But] the 105 Fifth Ave. store has seen a sales decline over the last 10 years due to customers being drawn to college campus stores or ordering online.”

The store will transfer its remaining books to the 24 campus stores that Barnes & Noble manages in the New York area, including at Baruch College, Columbia University, Pace University and Fordham University, she said.

Students of The New School, who previously got their books at the Fifth Avenue store, can now pick up their course materials at Barnes & Noble's Baruch College bookstore, located at 55 Lexington Ave. at East 25th Street, according to the bookstore's website.

Students can also order their textbooks at the customer service counter at Barnes & Noble's Union Square outpost, located at 33 E. 17th St. between Park Avenue and Union Square West, Keating said.

"Customers who previously shopped at [the Flatiron] store will find an even larger selection of trade books at Barnes & Nobles Union Square," she said.

The store laid off 56 workers, according to reports.

Other notable openings and closings in the neighborhood include:

CityRow, a new fitness studio focusing on workouts that simulate rowing, opened in Flatiron on Monday.

The 3,000-square-foot studio, located at 80 Fifth Ave., offers a mix of cardio and strength training, with 16 rowing machines made with water tanks to simulate real rowing, said Helaine Knapp, founder and CEO of CityRow.

“When I heard rowing was the next big thing, I was like, 'No way…my grandpa rows,'” Knapp said. “But after some research, I learned that it's really a total body workout that uses 84 percent of your body muscles.”

The 50-minute classes are divided into six-to-seven-minute intervals of rowing and mat exercises to keep people engaged, said Knapp, who lives in TriBeCa and used to work in technology. Classes cost $32 per session.

► A Mediterranean restaurant opened in Flatiron on Wednesday, featuring nightly live music and a hookah menu with 12 different flavors.

Pergola, located at 36 28th St., offers a variety of dishes inspired by flavors from Greece, Turkey and the Middle East.

Offerings include small plates called “cigars,” which are made with lamb, chicken and vegetables wrapped in phyllo. The menu also features tabbouleh, falafel and lamb burgers.

The 3,700-square-foot restaurant features a glass interior with 70 seats and a 20-foot bar.

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