Bookstore moves to Main Street

Published 9:04 pm Thursday, November 2, 2017

Community members who want to browse for a good book or find a meeting place with friends may need to look no further than 200 N. Main St., where the Barnes & Noble at Longwood University recently moved from its location in the Midtown Landings shopping center, opening its doors Monday.

Though the store sells merchandising and materials for Longwood students, Store Manager Amber Clark wants to let community members know that through the increased space and programs it is set to offer, the store is for everyone, not just students.

Clark said the process to move from the Midtown Landings location began in 2015. She said construction at 200 N. Main St. began in May 2016, a four-way project between Longwood University, Walk2Campus, Barnes & Noble College — a separate entity from the company Barnes & Noble — and the Longwood Real Estate Foundation.

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Clark said the location on 200 N. Main St. had been a community bank in the 1940s. She said the companies worked with a historical board to maintain the location’s history.

This is most apparent through the vault located within the store. The vault is kept open, and tables and chairs are placed inside, allowing guests to use the space.

Clark said features of the new location include a larger cafe space for guests, brand-new equipment and three or four times more storage space for products, including bakery products and Starbucks coffees.

Apartments are also located on the building’s upper floor.

Merchandise and textbooks for students are located at the back of the store, which can be reached by elevator or stairs.

Town Manager Gerald Spates said in a statement that the bookstore could provide a new set of resources to the Main Street area.

“Longwood Barnes and Noble bookstore has been a great asset to our community. We are excited to have them at their new location on Main Street in the heart of Downtown Farmville,” Spates said. “Hopefully, it will draw more students and their families downtown to enjoy all of the great opportunities we have to offer.”

Clark said she had read feedback from community members who said the former location, with the Longwood merchandise on one side and the cafe on the other side, felt like the resources were only available for students.

“We really hope Longwood students know that this is their Barnes & Noble and community members know this is their Barnes & Noble, too,” Clark said.

She said the Barnes & Noble College store is unique in that the store is located off-campus and sells fiction and nonfiction books in addition to school merchandise.

She said a grand opening will take place for the store Nov. 17, the same day as the Farmville Town Tree Lighting. She said the store is considering hosting activities such as trivia night and  Escape Room, a type of activity where participants work to escape a room in a limited amount of time.

“This is a responsibility I take very seriously,” Clark said. “It feels like a community store, not just an academic service.”