Jacksonville Barnes and Noble reopening following Hurricane Florence
The Barnes and Noble at the Jacksonville Mall held a soft opening Tuesday ahead of its grand reopening Wednesday following renovations needed due to Hurricane Florence.
Following the hurricane, store general manager Ron Butler said, "I came in through the door that Sunday after the hurricane, and almost fell to my knees. Just extensive damage, and it was heartbreaking."
Shopper Beth Witman says, "The mall is one of the spots that you see that hasn't recovered and it's good to see that it's getting back together."
Shoppers have been waiting for going on five-months now for some of their other retail favorites to re open, like Belk.
Witman says, "We always did our Black Friday shopping there, so it was very sad on Thanksgiving that we couldn't go in and shop."
Belk will be the last shopping spot here in the mall to reopen, with a current plan to do so in May. As for Barnes and Noble, though the store was closed, their local booksellers weren't out of work.
Butler says, "We did travel to other stores and work in other stores. While in those other stores we saw customers from this store, talking to us about how much they miss us and they can't wait for us to be open."
Barnes and Noble officials say the repaired store does have some enhancements, including an expanded toys and games department, which they say is important to the Jacksonville location because of the large amount of young children and families in the area.