Berkeley businesses see high turnover

Catherine Wallin/Staff

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Berkeley businesses have experienced significant turnover in the last few weeks, with the opening of Trek Bicycle and Equinox gym and the closing of Nolo Bookstore.

Nolo Bookstore, located on 950 Parker St., is scheduled to close April 28. Nolo Press has been publishing its do-it-yourself legal guides since 1971 and now includes what they call the Nolo Network, which encompasses over 50 web properties as well as a Nolo Lawyers Directory.

Nolo Press customer service manager Susan Engle said that because of the popularity of online material, the demand for hard copies of books has gone down and is now threatening the survival of bookstores.

“The Nolo Bookstore only carries our own titles, so it’s not about competition from other bookstores,” Engle said. “I really think it’s just that more people are purchasing online.”

While other bookstores have also been impacted by the online market, they are balancing out this fall in in-store demand by capitalizing on the online demand. Sara Bacon, a buyer and seller at Half Price Books, said the store partners with people who sell books online. Nolo’s online services will stay open, with only the bookstore closing down, Engle said.

Trek Bicycle officially opened March 24 at 2480 Shattuck Ave. and held its grand opening event April 12. The grand opening included raffles as well as a meet-and-greet with Gary Fisher, one of the inventors of the modern mountain bike, and was catered by La Burrita and Urban Remedy.

Trek Bicycle Berkeley’s store manager Bobby Miller said in an email that the company decided to open a story in Berkeley because the brand is not well represented in the East Bay.

“We felt there is a need for Trek in the area and were having trouble finding an Independent owner to open up so we decided to do it ourselves,” Miller said in an email.

According to Miller, there are already a lot of established bicycle stores in Berkeley. He added that their biggest competition is Mike’s Bikes and Performance Bicycle. Miller added that Trek will set themselves apart by focusing on maintenance and customer service.

Equinox gym opened its Berkeley location at 2600 Shattuck Ave. on April 6.  The gym is part of Equinox’s Bay Area expansion and is their first East Bay location. Easton Mayordomo, the assistant general manager at Equinox Berkeley, said there are a lot of fitness clubs in Berkeley, adding that he thinks City Sports Club, which opened a few months ago, would be their biggest competition.

“Our vision is to continue being the leader in high-performance living/lifestyles,” Mayordomo said in an email. “We recognized the need for a luxury fitness club in Berkeley and we’re happy we can accommodate so many residents of the East Bay!”

Contact Ambika Jaykrishna at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @a_jaykrishna.