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BB&T also has a consolidation going on: Two Salem branches will become one in Spartan Square.
Sunday, June 23, 2013
Paperback Exchange has consolidated two of its Roanoke Valley stores into a larger store on Williamson Road.
The new store, near the intersection with Hildebrand Road, opened last week.
Store owner Lu Vest said her two old stores were jam-packed with books, and she wanted to find a larger location to make it easier for customers to find the books they want.
“I thought if we could get it all under one roof it would make it easier,” Vest said.
One of the old stores, also on Williamson Road, was about 2,400 square feet. That store closed at the beginning of the month.
The other location, in Salem on Apperson Drive, was just 1,200 square feet, Vest said. She closed that store in May. It had been open for more than 30 years, Vest said.
Vest was apprehensive about closing the Salem store because she was afraid her customers wouldn’t travel to Roanoke to shop.
She had intended to open the consolidated store in southwest Roanoke County, which would have been closer for her Salem customers, but said rents in that area were too high for her business.
Vest worked at Paperback Exchange under the original owner and bought the business about six years ago.
Paperback Exchange pays customers one-fourth of a book’s cover price in the form of store credit, and sells the books for half the cover price.
Vest said the emergence of digital readers and e-books hasn’t hurt her business.
“A lot of people got disenchanted with e-books,” she said. Digital books are just as expensive as bound books, and digital books can’t be traded in or passed around between friends, she said.
BB&T has plans to consolidate two Salem branches into a new branch office to be built at Spartan Square in Salem, according to a bank spokesman.
The branches at 2809 W. Main St. and 231 College Ave. will close when the new building opens in the first or second quarter of next year, David White said.
Construction on the new 3,700-square-foot office will begin this fall. The building will be built along West Main Street in what is now a parking lot on the east side of the ABC store.
Ten employees from the West Main Street and College Avenue branches will be moved to the new branch, White said.
He did not know why the bank had chosen to consolidate the two branches.
The new building “underscores our commitment to the area and says a lot about what we think about the community,” White said.
In other banking news, Bank of America will close its Westlake Town Center branch in August.
“This decision is driven primarily by a decline in transactions, as customers increasingly rely on other channels including mobile and online banking,” bank spokeswoman Nicole Nastacie wrote in an email. She would not say how many customers use the branch.
The closest Bank of America branch is in Vinton on South Pollard Street, a 30-minute drive from Westlake.
One customer, James Perry, said he and others have asked the bank to at least leave open an ATM so customers can make deposits and withdraw cash.
Nastacie said the bank will not have an ATM at Westlake after the branch closes.
Perry said he believes the closure and inconvenience of having to drive to Vinton will likely cause the bank to lose customers. He plans to look into banking elsewhere, he said.
Also, as noted on The Storefront blog, Freedom First Federal Credit Union has completed its move into a larger space at Towers Shopping Center in Roanoke.
The credit union has had an office at Towers for the past 10 years. Last year, the credit union merged with Carilion Federal Credit Union and the branch, which is near the hospital, saw an increase in traffic. The credit union decided to relocate to a larger space within the shopping center.
It also tore down the old Java the Hut kiosk in the parking lot and built a drive-up ATM.
The new office is 2,700 square feet and has more teller windows, four offices and a conference room.
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