- May 25, 2019
Barnes & Noble is set to open its first new Tampa store in 15 years this week.
The store will open Wednesday in the Town Square Center on Westshore Boulevard in space previously occupied by Pier One. The new location will actually replace an existing store that was at 213 N. Dale Mabry Highway and closed after a nearly two month moving sale. Barnes & Noble had been in that location for 29 years.
“Much has changed in that time, but the core of good bookselling remains — well curated shops staffed by booksellers who are passionate about what they do,” says James Daunt, the chain’s CEO, in a statement.
That Barnes & Noble decided to move the store rather than close it altogether is good news for book lovers who should see it as a sign that brick-and-mortar print sales remain strong despite the rise of online competition and e-books.
Barnes & Noble, which was sold in 2019 to the parent company of Waterstones, the largest retail bookseller in the U.K., says that after only opening two new stores each year during the decade after 2009, it opened 16 new bookstores in 2022 and expects to open more than 30 new locations in 2023. The Westshore store will be its first in the Tampa area since 2008.
And if opening a new store wasn’t enough to bring in readers, helping to cut the ribbon at a grand opening ceremony March 1 will be Michael Connelly.
Connelly, the internationally known crime writer behind the Harry Bosch series of novels, lives in Tampa and will sign his new novel, "Desert Star," and other books from 10-11 a.m., according to a post on his Twitter page.