Howdy folks, and welcome back to HHR. We’re coming to you today with some sad news, which seems to happen more often than not lately. The second to last Barnes & Noble location inside the loop has quietly shut its doors after a nearly 30-year stay in the shopping center. Located at 3003 W Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77025 along with Randall’s, the stores represent the center’s original anchors. According to an interview with Community Impact, B&N had no desire to close the store and rather was ‘asked to leave. This also lines up with a 2021 resigning of the lease by Barnes & Noble. The location had a relatively short time frame in which they announced their closing at the end of April, to their actual shutdown which occurred last Sunday. Such little information was published on the shutdown, that it was off the HHR radar, until hours before the final shutdown. While it’s obvious there’s some development planned for the center, at this point, it’s not clear exactly what is planned.
So that leaves the question, what does this mean for the Randall’s next door? The easiest and most correct answer at the moment is nothing. However, depending on who picks up the space, this could go South for Your Remarkable store, quickly. At the moment, there aren’t many chains expanding aggressively in Houston. One notable exception is GFS which is bringing their grocery stores to town. If another grocer moves into the strip, it’s unlikely the Randall’s would survive. The entire center is owned by Invesco, including Randall’s space, meaning that they could be booted with minimal warning. The store has had a remodel, unlike the Sugar Land store which was skipped due to a preplanned closing, so it doesn’t seem that Albertson’s wants to shut down the store. However, we should keep an eye out for who pops up next.
I helped open that Barnes and Noble. If I recall correctly, that was the first BN in Houston and the first Starbucks as well. Back then, they sent the Starbucks staff to Seattle to train. Shame to see it close.
One of the managers at the Holcombe Barnes and Noble told me that Kelsey Seybold wanted to take that location for a new clinic. Barnes and Noble apparently wanted to remain in the Holcombe location,and was willing to extend their lease. However Kelsey apparently offered the management company to sign a very long lease, which B&N could not match. The management company then asked B&N to leave. Pretty poor community spirit from Kelsey,if that account is true.
Like we need another clinic. The area is chock full of them as is. Not a fan of Kelsey.
B&N has always had a strong and appealing set of fixtures and decor, which makes it especially weird and unsettling to see so many empty shelves.
It’s sad news when a bookstore closes in Houston because in all likelihood, stores that closed won’t be replaced with another one. We’ve seen some Half Price Books close here lately and here’s a Barnes & Noble to add to the list. Also, this location was one of three or four Houston area B&Ns to have a larger selection of music recordings than other local B&Ns, but B&N has really downsized their CD offerings everywhere that still has them.
It’s generally considered quite desirable for a shopping center to have a supermarket anchor. With that in mind, one would think that Randall’s ought to be safe as long as the center and Albertsons stay in agreement about the lease price. Then again, it’s hard to say what exactly the situation might be at this center. I do think this Randall’s location does pretty well even with all the competition in the area. The demographics in the area are certainly Randall’s kind of demographics.