Bestsellers closes its store in Hawaii Kai
The bookstore will be replaced by a Salad Creations franchise
Bestsellers Books & Music has closed its doors on the ground floor of Koko Marina Center in Hawaii Kai, but will keep the WeePlay & Learn preschool open, as well as its four other stores.
Owner Brian Melzack chalked it up to a decision not to renew the lease, but instead to look for a new location.
"We had a choice to stay seven more years and we decided not to renew," said Melzack. "It was a complicated situation, given (that) the profile of that shopping mall is shifting."
Bestsellers still has a store in downtown Honolulu, the Hilton Hawaiian Village Resort & Spa, and two outlets at Honolulu International Airport.
Melzack opened the Koko Marina store in 2004, eventually expanding upstairs, where he and his wife, Mary, opened the WeePlay & Learn children's center and preschool.
He said the closure of the store was a separate decision, and did not have to do with more competition from big chains like Borders Group and Barnes & Noble, although of course, it is a tough business.
Melzack is looking for another location to replace the Koko Marina store.
Nora Bland, a broker with Sofos Realty, which manages Koko Marina Center, said the lease with Bestsellers ended in July. A new tenant, a franchisee of Florida-based Salad Creations, is taking the space.
The marketing strategy of the shopping center has shifted to cater more to local residents than tourists, said Bland, because of the new residential properties in the neighborhood.
Melzack said Bestsellers, however, continues to occupy a niche in the booksellers market.
"As long as Mary and I are here, there will be an independent book store," said Melzack.