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Barnes & Noble store in downtown Naperville is closing in January

The Barnes & Noble bookstore in downtown Naperville is closing Jan. 21, according to the store’s social media.

The business announced in a letter posted on Instagram Wednesday morning that it will be leaving soon and plans to open a new store in Oswego.

“We have some very exciting news to share with you; we’ve found a new home!” reads the store’s letter. “We must leave this store and the new bookstore will be located a short distance away at the Prairie Market Mall in Oswego.”

Barnes & Noble has been operating at 47 E. Chicago Ave. in downtown Naperville since 1998. The store’s letter, signed “Your B&N Naperville Team,” does not say why he should leave.

“It has truly been our honor and privilege to be your bookstore in Naperville for the last 25 years,” the letter continues. “While we are sad to leave our current home, we are very excited to be staying nearby and at a beautiful new bookstore.”

Prairie Market Shopping Center, at 2590 Route 34, is about 20 minutes southwest of downtown Naperville.

Last week, Oswego village announced separately A Barnes & Noble was coming to town.

“I couldn’t be happier to welcome Barnes & Noble to our community!” Village President Ryan Kauffman said: December 21 press release. “Bookstores are one of my favorite places.

“This new addition promises to be a haven for lovers of literature and a vibrant hub for intellectual engagement. Not only will it be a step towards enhancing the cultural fabric of our city, it will also increase and diversify our retail offerings.”

The Barnes & Noble planned for Oswego will take over the approximately 16,000-square-foot space previously filled by Designer Shoe Warehouse DSW, village officials said.

In their letter, the Naperville team praised the Owego location as a “great opportunity” to offer a new store design and an updated B&N Cafe.

While Barnes & Noble is leaving Naperville, the national bookstore still operates in nearby Bolingbrook (631 East Boughton Road) and Oak Brook (297 Oakbrook Center).’

Barnes & Noble aside, among the remaining brick-and-mortar bookstores in Naperville, only 2867 95th St. Half Price Books at and Anderson’s Bookshop at 123 W. Jefferson Ave.

Becky Anderson, Anderson’s owner and Naperville native, said she was sorry to see Barnes & Noble close by.

“A physical space where readers can come and look at books and explore is important,” he said by phone Wednesday. “That’s why it’s sad for any bookstore to close.”

Anderson remembered when Barnes & Noble opened in Naperville 25 years ago. At the time, he said, it was frustrating to see a national chain move into the area where the independent bookstore had been cornered since 1875.

“Normally, for an independent bookstore anywhere in the country, if a Barnes & Noble opens near you, the scenario is that it could put you into bankruptcy or at least take a big decline in business,” he said. “So we were pretty scared when we knew it was coming.”

But over the years, he said, the two booksellers have learned to co-exist.

But now that Barnes & Noble is preparing to close, Anderson said he hopes former B&N customers will “discover Anderson’s.”

“When you go to an independent store, you get a different experience than a big chain store,” he said. “I really hope that this will boost our business and that readers will come and find us because we are a great source for the right book.

“I can’t deny that I’m not even a little bit happy that they’re closing, because I’m closing. We truly want to serve our community. “We always have, and we hope we can help customers who shop at that store, too.”

This story will be updated as more details become available.

tkenny@chicagotribune.com

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