Books-A-Million at Houston Pavilions: Back from the Dead!

A source tells Swamplot that “an even sweeter deal” has just been struck between Books-A-Million and the management of Houston Pavilions, and that the bookstore chain has decided that its Downtown Houston store will remain open. “It seems the story has forced the company’s hand,” says the source. Swamplot reported yesterday that Books-A-Million had decided to close its store in the mall at 1201 Main St., even though the company was paying only $3,000 a month for the 2-story, approximately 23,000-sq.-ft. space.

Photo: Flickr user Holcombe of Hidalgo

12 Comment

  • The fact that anyone would balk at that much square footage for that price is amazing – Especially downtown. How does that compare to other upscale retail space in Houston? Also, it should be interesting to see what happens when the other tenants come forth with Lease negotiations.

  • I don’t know what kind of traffic Houston Pavilions gets during the week, but it’s pretty deserted on the weekends that I’ve been there. It seems like many of the establishments are closed on weekends and they really aren’t interesting enough to lure me there during the week.

  • Books are heavy, take up space, and while I appreciate the physical aspect of having something in hand, the digital age is upon us. Like record stores for the last 10 years, book stores are going the way of the dodo. I expect it to be a boutique business in the next few years and these giant book stores are going to fold. I hope barnes and noble goes first.

  • I, for one, greatly enjoy having this book store downtown. I work across the street, and it is one of my favorite places to take a break during the day. I was disappointed to hear of its potential demise.

    That being said, the Pavillion project has proven to be less excited than we hoped. We all expected more and better retail and instead received chain restaurants, office space, and only two clothing stores. Part of the problem is not catering to the demographic: downtown is full of lawyers and executives who would rather buy a suit than browse the aisles at Forever 21.

  • What part of the swamplot story and/or comments made them change their mind?

  • Glad its staying. I’ve bought books here on my lunch break.

    That being said, HP needs a high(er)-end office supply store. Nice pens, briefcases, executive gifts, etc. Maybe even bring Brooks’ Brothers back downtown.

    The market is here. I’m one of them.

  • Ah. The folly of leasing. How many times have landlords run off tenants with rent demands only to see the space sit vacant for years. The Pavillions actually give a tenant a second chance and will be rewarded with the rest of its tenants wanting a break. And there is still thousands of sq ft to fill in the hidden caverns of the Pavillions. Maybe we could get an ordinance requiring every other new bar that opens on Washington to be required to relocate to the Pavillions. Kill two birds with one stone.

  • This is just a temporary stay of execution for Books A Million. Lack of business will ultimately kill this location. Downtown in general seems to be headed in this direction.

  • Agree with you Matt, especially on the north end of downtown. The corner of Main at Congress just lost two restaurants – Cielo and Cava Bistro – and I doubt anything will replace it. I think another bar/grill recently closed around the corner, following the slow and painful death of a few places on Main last year. I hope to be changing my swamplot handle in the near future, before I’m the only person left down there.

  • This store has terrible customer service that I’ve experienced first hand. Their draconian policy of allowing exchanges ONLY with a receipt (even when the item was clearly a gift and had a BAM pricetag on it) is ridiculous in today’s society where consumers have so many choices.

    I will never go in there again and I work downtown near where they are located.

  • downtown resident – Cielo closed?! When???

  • I agree the customer service is horrible, but i had a thick skin and bought the book anyway. If the store isn’t making money, its because people don’t like the attitude of management there, who seem to bring personal problems to work with them.