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Joe Mooney, Books-A-Million manager at Edison Mall in Fort Myers, doesn’t receive many early-morning phone calls. 

When he got one at about 5 a.m. March 19, he had no idea it would be about his store being flooded. At about 3 a.m. that morning, a water pipe burst in the middle of the store’s floor. The floor erupted like a geyser, filling the room with water, enough to ruin everything on the store’s bottom shelves. 

This month, Books-A-Million reopened in a temporary location inside the mall, near the food court on the mall’s northwest side. 

“It felt great,” Mooney said of reopening. “Everybody was so happy. All the employees were happy. Customers were really happy to see us. We’re very glad to be here.” 

Almost two weeks later, Mooney and his company are trying to spread the word of the temporary location change. Books-A-Million sent an email blast to customers last week. 

The regular location is being rebuilt, as the entire floor must be replaced, Mooney said. He did not expect to move back until two or three months from now. 

“They have to rebuild the entire store, pretty much, from the ground up, so we’re going to have a brand-new store,” Mooney said. “We’re really looking forward to that. It’s going to be better than ever when we reopen. Definitely better than ever.” 

In the meantime, the store will have to get by with less space. The regular location measures about 12,000 square feet. The temporary location has about 2,700 square feet of space. The mall agreed to have Books-A-Million place three merchandise kiosks on the mall’s concourse, near the food court. Those kiosks soon will have the store’s brand signage affixed to them, to give the store some of the presence it misses from being at the mall’s main entrance off U.S. 41. 

“It’s not as big, but we still have a great selection,” Mooney said. “We made sure we’ve got the most popular stuff that people want.” 

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