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3 Ohio State campus bookstores closing doors

January 13, 2014

pellicciaro.1@osu.edu
College Town, located at 1770 N. High St., closed within about the last month. It is one of three High Street bookstores that have closed recently. Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

College Town, located at 1770 N. High St., closed within about the last month. It is one of three High Street bookstores that have closed recently.
Credit: Shelby Lum / Photo editor

The chapter is ending for three High Street textbook stores.

College Town, located at 1770 N. High St., closed within about the last month, and University Book Exchange, located at 10 E. 15th Ave., is set to close its store by the end of Spring Semester. Buckeye Books, located at 2060 N. High St., closed during Fall Semester.

College outfitter Neebo owned College Town. Textbooks can still be purchased or rented through the Neebo website.

“We continue to evaluate our retail stores and remain committed to improving store operations and, most importantly, serving our guests. As part of our ongoing process of overall continuous improvement, we have decided to close College Town,” said Neebo communications specialist Julie Himmelberg in an email.

Brian Wade, the director of property management at RS Garek Associates Ltd., the real estate firm that owns the building, said College Town’s closing didn’t necessarily have to do with the store itself as much as a shift in the dynamic of book stores in recent years.

“It’s just not feasible for them to lease 12,000 square feet and sell books when they’re making a shift online,” Wade said.

Books can still be ordered online through University Book Exchange. According to its website, the store in Columbus is its only location.

A Barnes and Noble manager did not respond to an email requesting comment on the stores’ closures.

Some Ohio State students said the closures could lead to book shortage issues.

“If we close down a store, then that’s one less place for students to go, and Barnes and Noble and Student Book Exchange are going to run out (of textbooks) a lot faster,” said Rebekah Martindale, a first-year in English education.

Martindale also said the decline of physical book stores could make switching classes difficult.

“I order textbooks online when I have time to, but the other day I switched all my classes so I went to UBX and SBX,” Martindale said.

Kirsten Long, a second-year in business, said when she found out she needed a textbook, she typically would walk to University Book Exchange or Student Book Exchange to get the book quickly.

“I liked that you were able to shop around,” Long said.

The closing of these stores has left an open space for other tenants to move in, however, Wade did not disclose who those potential renters are.

“We’ve talked with several national retailers who have expressed interest in the space,” Wade said.


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