Richard Van Tassell, owner of Bay Books, is closing its Pleasanton store, located on the corner of Stoneridge and Gibraltar drives, because of meager sales. He said Friday was the last day, but it is possible the store will remain open Monday.
Books are on sale for 60 percent off. Van Tassell's other two stores in Concord and San Ramon, which are faring better, will remain open.
"Many bookstores are suffering now and have been for awhile because of online competition, he said. They are making life difficult for independent bookstores.
The Pleasanton store opened nearly two years ago and sought to attract commuting traffic from Hacienda Business Park. The store bought back books and hosted book clubs and author signings. However, its location drew little foot traffic and weekends were particularly problematic.
So many people had told us the location was a little out of the way, which is hard to understand because we were on the corner of a six-lane street and a four-lane street, both of which are miles and miles long, Van Tassell said. But how can you argue with peoples perception that we were out of the way?
Van Tassell said up to 70 percent of sales at the Pleasanton store went to occupancy costs.
It was just totally skewed, he said.
He and his wife, Diane, tried for two months to negotiate lowering the rent to the landlord, but to no avail.
No white knights had stepped forward to help us out, he said. We realized the store was a community resource and people said, We are glad you are here. We did the best we could and it wasnt good enough.
Towne Center Books on Main Street and The Bookstore on Hopyard Road are Pleasantons two other independent bookstores.
Were very sad to have to leave Pleasanton, Van Tassell said. It was a joy.
Staff writer Brian Foley can be reached at (925) 416-4818 and firstname.lastname@example.org.