Copperfield’s Books is on the move, but shoppers won’t have to look far to find its new home. Napa’s only bookstore is relocating a stone’s throw from its current home in Bel Aire Plaza to a smaller space within Whole Foods Market.
Pier 1 Imports will move into the existing Copperfield’s space, said Craig Semmelmeyer of Main Street Property Services, Bel Aire Plaza’s leasing agent. The store should open in the fall, he said.
According to its website, Pier 1 first opened in 1962 with a single store in San Mateo. Today, there are more than 1,000 Pier 1 locations in 49 states, Canada and Mexico. The publicly owned company sells “distinct home furnishings and décor,” reads its website.
Copperfield’s is moving because it has more space than it needs, said Copperfield’s co-owner and founder, Paul Jaffe.
“The nature of bookstores has changed over the years, and the footprint for bookstores as a whole seems to be shrinking,” he noted. “Some people call it ‘downsizing,’ but we call it right-sizing.”
The bookstore’s new location was originally part of the Whole Foods Market. Years ago, Whole Foods divided the space to be subleased. Once Copperfield’s moves, it will have access to the culinary center and kitchen inside Whole Foods. The kitchen will remain inside Whole Foods, Jaffe said.
The new space was chosen in part because it is a good fit with the store’s new chef author program called “Copperfield’s Cooks,” said Vicki DeArmon, Copperfield’s marketing and events director.
The current Copperfield’s store is exceptionally spacious, DeArmon said. The number of books could fit in a store half as large, she said.
“We’ll be consolidating some of our inventory” in the new space, which is less than half the size of the current store, but customers shouldn’t notice the difference, she said.
This isn’t the only Copperfield’s to downsize, Jaffe said. The independent bookseller, which has six locations, recently relocated its Santa Rosa store to a smaller space.
“In order to run an independent bookstore, you need to have an affordable business model so you can continue to serve your customers,” DeArmon said. “We’re excited about the event space. It’s a beautiful demonstration kitchen.”
Pier 1 employs nearly 15,000 people worldwide, with more than 500 associates working in its corporate headquarters in Fort Worth, Texas.
According to Semmelmeyer, Pier 1 has been interested in Napa for a long time. “There is a big gap for lifestyle, home and tabletop” goods in Napa, he said. “I think they are a great addition.
“Their new store prototype is really nice, and we’re really excited to have them come to the shopping center.”
Semmelmeyer said Copperfield’s remains a strong draw for shoppers.
“The bookstore is a very important reason people come to the shopping center,” he said. “A long-term lease will allow (Copperfield’s) to be there for the long term.”
Cost Plus World Market could be considered a competitor to Pier 1. World Market sells original and handmade items from around the world, including home accents, international foods and wines and other decor.
“People like to cross-shop,” Semmelmeyer said. “They will walk between the two stores and other shops, and that’s a plus for us. It’s a way for us to create more drawing power.”
As businesses look to begin expanding after the recession, “Napa has become a top priority for many retailers,” Semmelmeyer said.
“Years ago, we had to push people to look at Napa,” he said. “The success of the tenants has reaffirmed that retailers want to be in Bel Aire Plaza.”
At the other end of the center, Umpqua Bank is getting smaller within its own building, leaving a 3,600-square-foot space available for a new tenant.
The facade of the former Hallmark store and current Pure Beauty store will also be renovated, Semmelmeyer said. He was unable to comment on other potential new tenants or tenant relocations.
“We want to be very selective and sign the right deals,” he said.