Thursday, November 04, 2010

Book-less Burgh Redux

So we had a bunch of gnashing here when Barnes and Noble closed its Downtown store. That was a topic in one of the first posts here.  I take from that that there were some issues beyond consumer demand that may have impacted that decision, though they did not choose to relocate that main store elsewhere Downtown.  At the Point Park folks are apt to point out there remains a Barnes and Noble there on the Point Park campus Downtown.

News just out is that Joseph Beth is closing it's store over at the South Side works.  Well then, what does that say about anything?

There has been a post building up in me for some time, but was reminded of it again recently and now with this it really becomes acute.   Seems to me from the last time I was over at the South Side Works that there was an awful lot of retail frontage that was not being used, or being rented for things that are not quite retail?  Indirectly I know some folks who have not been able to make a success of retail biz based there.  Now with Joseph Beth closing, what does it say about the real demand for retail over there.  Remember Joseph Beth was pretty much the anchor store for a while when South Side Works debuted, but they downsized their space last year was it?  So given that the whole project, which was an amazing piece of brownfield redevelopment in and of itself, was so highly subsidized to get to where it is... is it a success?   Discuss.

9 Comments:

Anonymous RoboticGhost said...

Well, I am writing this on an iPad, and just about every reader I know has a Kindle or Nook at this point. So maybe Jo Beth isn't a harbinger for South Side Works as much as it is for bookstores in general. I suspect that if the next round of residential development goes forward a lot of that retail will pick up. There is also that recession thingy happening.

Another force at work here is Ross Park Mall drawing the kinds of anchors like Crate and Barrel that seem like a hood fit for SSW or Bakers Square. SSW can't compete with the Region's biggest Fortress and it shouldn't.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 5:00:00 PM  
Anonymous n'at said...

Before Joe Beth, we should have noticed movement among the Barnes et Nobles; bouncing around the city proper and not really increasing their presence in the market.

This should not go unnoticed by local, state and federal bureaucrats, nor should this wasting go unspoken when deliberating over public funding of large tracts of public land in the city.

If these developments are such a good deal - triple bottom line and all that B.S. - , then private entities should be throwing their money at such ventures, right?

Thursday, November 04, 2010 5:05:00 PM  
Anonymous BrianTH said...

The SSW approach (and indeed location) already seems dated for where Pittsburgh is heading these days. I think it is fixable, but I'm not sure Soffer is the one to fix it.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 6:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good thing we saved the libraries!

Thursday, November 04, 2010 9:47:00 PM  
Blogger Conservative Mountaineer said...

While I don't think I'd like a e-ook reader (I'm an old fart who likes to turn pages), it's apparent the old-style book store is is going, going, (eventually) gone.

Personally, I like Half-Pricfe Books. I scrounge the bargain area for $1/$2 deals (Baldacci, Clancy, Flynn, Grisham, Ludlum, Turow, CIA-type, WWII-type). If that fails, I buy a used book for those for 1/2 off. I've purchased ~225 books there.. I still have them all. What a bargain - 4/5/6 hours of reading for $1/$2.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 9:55:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Let me guess, you read that series about the town in West Virginia sent back to 17th century Germany resulting in tanks fighting knights in armor?

Thursday, November 04, 2010 10:43:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

Is that any good? I saw it and was both curious and disturbed.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 10:53:00 PM  
Blogger C. Briem said...

Don't ask me.. I'm more of a connecticut yankee in king arthur's court reader myself. But somebody must be buying those novels. Sounds like they may be too expensive for Mountaineer though.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 10:57:00 PM  
Anonymous MH said...

I always been a bit mixed about Clancy, but I agree with CM about the Ludlum books, at least the old ones. Nobody does "secret Nazis are every where" better. The new spy stuff is too much technology and not enough secret Nazis.

Thursday, November 04, 2010 11:22:00 PM  

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