The book stops here—Greeley bookstore to close after over 40 years
Published: Monday, January 14, 2013
Updated: Monday, January 14, 2013 22:01
The corner of 16th Street and 10th Avenue has played home to a staple in the Greeley community for more than 20 years, but history and character is no match for the competitive and unfavorable textbook industry, which will force The Book Stop to close its doors Feb. 28.
The Book Stop has provided students with a near-campus location to purchase textbooks, UNC memorabilia and school supplies, but given where the industry is headed, the last day of February will mark the end of this bookstore’s time in Greeley.
“The market is causing us to close,” said Tyler Shaffer, an employee at The Book Stop. “Books cost too much. PDFs are cheaper.”
Eight years ago, the store was sold at the height of the textbook boom to Nebraska Book Company. The company is a national chain and operates within the college textbook industry.
“In the past couple months, we have studied in great detail the performance and future prospect of all our off-campus bookstores and have made the decision to close this store,” said Karey Koehn, a public relations specialist for Neebo, a company operated by the Nebraska Book Company.
“The Nebraska Book Company owns the store,” said Betsey Lyons, the store manager. “They allow us to run the store locally.”
Operating the store locally, though, has become increasingly difficult to do given the challenges bookstores are facing.
“What it comes down to is there have been a lot of changes in the bookstore industry over the past few years,” Koehn said. “It has been especially difficult for off-campus bookstores due to increased availability of other sources of textbooks.”
The convenience for students to buy their books online through sites such as Amazon.com and Half.com is creating more competition for stores such
as The Book Stop.
“Nebraska Book Company will continue to serve the students of University of Northern Colorado online at Neebo.com,” Koehn said. “Students can return this semester’s rental textbooks and also sell back textbooks through our online site. Students can also purchase or rent textbooks for upcoming semesters at Neebo.com.”
Whether through Neebo or not, it’s expected that many students will continue purchasing books on the Internet.
“Everything is moving online,” said Geoffrey Suaer, a fine arts and sociology major who has worked at The Book Stop for a year. “Students are going to Amazon instead of going to a store.”
Many of the traditional bookstores around campus are also being challenged by less conventional bookstores that specialize in just college textbooks.
Textbook Brokers for example, located at 807 17th St. right across the street from Kepner Hall, offers students a one-stop shop for their textbooks.
The Book Stop has also found competition for students to sell their books back to the store. Around the time of finals on campus, it’s common to see RVs on campus offering students cash for their books.
“The Nebraska Book Company has decided there are too many book stores,” Lyons said. “They are going to concentrate on their campus stores.”
The Book Stop has had a presence in Greeley since 1968 and has changed its location along 16th Street, from spots currently occupied by Mellow Yellow and The Crvsh Room.
The closing of the store also poses the question of what will happen to The Blue Mug at Margie’s, which physically shares a building with the bookstore.
The coffee shop was purchased by The Blue Mug over the summer. This is the Blue Mug’s second location in Greeley. The other location is 2030 35th Ave.
The coffee shop plans to stay open when the bookstore closes its doors. It is rumored it might consider expanding to the soon-to-be vacant space.