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Jon Knutson, Published January 02 2010

West Acres’ B. Dalton bookstore to close

Fargo’ West Acres mall is losing one of its original tenants.

The B. Dalton bookstore will close Jan. 16.

The move is a corporate decision by B. Dalton’s owner, Barnes & Noble Inc., said Rusty Papachek, the mall’s general manager.

“It was their decision, and their lease was up at the end of January,” he said.

A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman couldn’t be reached for comment Thursday.

Barnes & Noble is closing 50 B. Dalton stores by the end of January 2010, according to reports published in several cities where B. Dalton has stores.

Leases for the 50 stores are expiring, according to the reports.

Barnes & Noble has closed 35 to 40 B. Dalton stores each year for the past eight years as their leases expire, the company said in the reports.

This summer, a Barnes & Noble official told The Forum that the West Acres store’s lease would expire Jan. 31, 2010, and that it was uncertain if the store would remain open after that.

There are no plans to move the Barnes & Noble bookstore near the mall at 1201 42nd St. S., into West Acres, Papachek said.

Several potential tenants have expressed interest in the B. Dalton location, Papachek said, although he’s not free to identify them. He said he doesn’t know if another bookstore chain will be found to occupy the location.

West Acres and its B. Dalton store opened in 1972.

Barnes & Noble acquired B. Dalton from Dayton Hudson Corp. in 1987.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Jonathan Knutson at (701) 241-5530