It’s a sign of the times.
Technology is causing the downfall of some big companies. The latest casualty being Barnes & Noble in Kahala.
A manager at the store in Kahala Mall confirmed the store is closing.
“I’m so disappointed, it’s such a classy store,” customer Jeanne Suiter said.
Another company hit by this, what some call, the Internet factor.
“People getting instantaneous and immediate gratification and that’s what people want,” real estate analysis Stephany Sofos said.
Sources say the lease at Kahala Mall is up in January, but no exact closing date has been announced.
That would leave Hawaii with two Barnes & Noble stores, in Ala Moana Center and Lahaina Gateway Shopping Center. It’s all part of a massive closure announced earlier this year.
Barnes & Noble started the year with 689 stores. Within 10 years, the company will shut down a third of its stores, leaving 450 to 500 remaining, all because of the shift towards digital books.
“You can have 3,500 books in your iPad so you don’t need to peruse the hallways of a bookstore,” Sofos said.
“The kindle and Amazon, it’s like this, and you have a lot better support system,” Kahala resident Karen Deer said.
Bookstores are not the only shops affected by the internet factor and convenience. Video stores are becoming a thing of the past as well. Blockbuster continues to leave the islands. The remaining locations are Kahala and Ewa Beach.
Sofos believes discount retailers are the ones making big strides. Retailers like Ross Dress for Less, which some believe, could replace Barnes & Noble in Kahala Mall. Sofos believes the retailer, would do well in that location.
“Even in Kahala. The rich people still are looking for bargains,” Sofos said.
Kahala Mall did not want to comment and we’re still waiting for Ross to respond to our calls for comment.