FUNERAL FOR A FRIEND; BOOKSTORE TO CLOSE AFTER 23 YEARS.Byline: Jason Takenouchi Staff Writer
In this story, Goliath wins.
The last secular, independent bookstore in the Santa Clarita Valley The Santa Clarita Valley is the valley of the Santa Clara River in Southern California. It stretches through Los Angeles County and Ventura County. Its main population center is the city of Santa Clarita. The valley was part of the 48,612-acre (19,672. , One for the Books, will be laid to rest today in a mock funeral complete with a priest and black-clad mourners.
The 23-year-old store is the latest victim of a bookstore battle that has pitted locally owned businesses against chain stores and, increasingly, Internet sellers such as Amazon.com.
``It's the last of the breed,'' said Jeffrey Weston, former owner of J. Weston Books Etc. Weston stopped selling books in 1996, the year after Barnes & Noble and Crown opened Santa Clarita Santa Clarita, city (1990 pop. 110,642), Los Angeles co., S Calif., suburb 30 mi (48 km) NW of downtown Los Angeles, on the Santa Clara River; inc. 1987. Situated in the Santa Clara valley and nearby canyons, Santa Clarita includes the former towns of Canyon Country, stores; his renamed store now concentrates on games.
``It's lost,'' Weston said. ``The small people thing is lost.''
Competition from Barnes & Noble and Crown Books also greatly decreased sales at One for the Books. Since the store's pre-Barnes & Noble business, said owner Jan Heidt, the bookstore has lost about two-thirds of its customers.
Faith and a sense of civic duty kept One for the Books in the fight until now, Heidt said.
``It's just a matter of principle for me that the community know what a real bookstore is like,'' Heidt said. ``I thought I'd stay and fight.''
But the fight is over. After three years of losses, and another sales decline of about 20 percent in the past year, Heidt said she will sell the store's remaining inventory in the next six to eight weeks.
Store supporters will mark its passing with a funeral at noon today. The Canyon Theatre Guild Theatre Guild
U.S. theatrical society. Founded in New York City in 1918 by Lawrence Langner (1890–1962) and others, the group proposed to produce high-quality, noncommercial plays. , an area acting troupe, will perform the ceremony.
Heidt, owner of the store since 1983, said she made the decision to close even before Borders Books and Music opened a store about three miles away last month. She said she is unsure of her future plans.
``I might write a book,'' Heidt said.
When One for the Books closes its doors, the Santa Clarita Valley's roughly 175,000 residents will have just two locally owned retail bookstores, both small and both affiliated with religious groups.
Officials with New York-based Barnes & Noble Inc. said the company's expansion is driven by economics, not the undercutting of independent stores such as One for the Books.
``We're not in the business of putting anyone out of business,'' said Debra Williams, director of corporate communications Corporate communications is the process of facilitating information and knowledge exchanges with internal and key external groups and individuals that have a direct relationship with an enterprise. for the company.
``When we look to open a store in any market,'' she said, ``the most important consideration is can the market support a store, and can our store serve the community?''
The company owns about 520 stores in 49 states. Its Santa Clarita store is one of 70 in California.
But whether conscious or not, residents here say the rise of chain stores and the decline of locally owned ones is changing the nature of this north Los Angeles Los Angeles (lôs ăn`jələs, lŏs, ăn`jəlēz'), city (1990 pop. 3,485,398), seat of Los Angeles co., S Calif.; inc. 1850. County area.
``Historically, in towns such as ours, a lot of the heart and soul is the fact that the small retailers were people who were your neighbors,'' said Ben Boydston, artistic director for the Canyon Theatre Guild and a longtime long·time
Having existed or persisted for a long time: a longtime friend; a longtime resident of Detroit.
Adjective customer of One for the Books.
Pam Christensen, owner of The Book Castle, a store affiliated with the Church of Jesus Christ Church of Jesus Christ may refer to:
Noun 1. Latter-Day Saint - a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
Mormon , agreed that the decline of small businesses, especially bookstores, is changing the area.
``When we first moved here, it had such a small-town country feeling,'' she said.
``With the little independent stores,'' Christensen said, ``you can have that feeling. With the big conglomerate conglomerate, in business
conglomerate, corporation whose asset growth, often very rapid, comes largely through the acquisition of, or merger with, other firms whose products are largely unrelated to each other or to that of the parent company. stores coming in, I think we'll lose that.''
Heidt, an outspoken member of the Santa Clarita City Council, said independence allowed her to use her own judgment when deciding what to stock and what to highlight.
One example, she said, was her decision not to carry any of the flood of books surrounding the O.J. Simpson murder trial.
``I just don't consider that bookstore fare,'' she said.
One for the Books also carries two books that are perhaps the only detailed history books specific to the Santa Clarita Valley: ``A California Legend'' by Ruth Waldo Newhall and ``Valley of the Golden Dream'' by Jerry Reynolds Jerry Reynolds may refer to:
The books are out of print, and Borders and Barnes & Noble do not stock them.
But a local flavor was not enough to help One for the Books compete with big advertising budgets, economies of scale and deep discounts. When Barnes & Noble first opened, it flooded the area with ``25 percent off'' coupons and continues to offer steep discounts for New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of Times bestsellers, something Heidt said she could not match.
And Heidt also could not replicate rep·li·cate
1. To duplicate, copy, reproduce, or repeat.
2. To reproduce or make an exact copy or copies of genetic material, a cell, or an organism.
A repetition of an experiment or a procedure. the chain stores' environment - with liberal browsing policies and overstuffed o·ver·stuff
tr.v. o·ver·stuffed, o·ver·stuff·ing, over·stuffs
1. To stuff too much into: overstuff a suitcase.
2. To upholster (an armchair, for example) deeply and thickly. chairs - in her small, 1,200-square-foot store.
Small bookstores across the country are feeling similar strains from big box stores and, more recently, from Internet booksellers, said Jennifer Bigelow, executive director of the Southern California Southern California, also colloquially known as SoCal, is the southern portion of the U.S. state of California. Centered on the cities of Los Angeles and San Diego, Southern California is home to nearly 24 million people and is the nation's second most populated region, Booksellers Association, a trade group for independent bookstores.
``It's probably going to be a tough fight for a long time, because the chains are able to offer the discounting that some consumers are looking for Looking for
In the context of general equities, this describing a buy interest in which a dealer is asked to offer stock, often involving a capital commitment. Antithesis of in touch with. ,'' Bigelow said.
Margie Ghiz, the owner of Midnight Special on Santa Monica's Third Street Promenade The Third Street Promenade is a pedestrian street in Santa Monica, California, United States. It is considered one of the premier shopping destinations in West Los Angeles and frequently draws crowds from all over Los Angeles County. , said she is struggling in the face of Borders and Barnes & Noble - both just blocks away - despite tremendous community support and a generous landlord.
Amazon.com also takes a large chunk of her business, she said. Internet company Amazon.com - which began by selling books online and later expanded to movies, music and software - registered sales of $294 million in the first quarter of 1999.
``There should be stores all over that give people a choice, showing them what's out there and challenging them,'' Ghiz said. ``There is something more important than the marketplace.''
Heidt, owner of One for the Books, said her store was a communication line with her customers as well as a business.
``This is where I met people, where I talked to people,'' she said. ``It's like losing a good friend.''
PHOTO (Color) One for the Books owner Jan Heidt will be closing her bookstore in the Santa Clarita Valley in the coming months, after 23 years.
Hans Gutknecht/Daily News