Bookstores to close after bankruptcy
Ypsilanti’s Campus Book & Supply and Mike’s Bookstore are two of 40 stores under Nebraska Book Company to close by March 31.
NBC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, which will allow them to “restructure finances or operations while continuing to operate as it did before the filing,” said the company’s website.
According to AnnArbor.com, the company filed for bankruptcy protection in June and was given until April 30 to decide whether to reject leases for the 40 off-campus stores.
The 40 stores make up approximately one third of the company’s off-campus locations and account for $3 million in losses this year, according to AnnArbor.com.
Ned’s Bookstore, which is also in Ypsilanti and borders Eastern Michigan University’s campus, is not among the stores to be shut down. The closing of Mike’s Bookstore and Campus Book & Supply leaves Ned’s as the only remaining off-campus bookstore surrounding the EMU campus.
“I think these bookstores are closing because people are finding better deals and bargains online, where books are cheaper, causing bookstores to suffer and lose a lot of sales due to that fact,” said EMU student Amber Stagg.
Jay Trent, NBC’s regional manager for the Great Lakes region, said the Internet sales have changed the market and NBC has attempted to remain competitive by launching its book renting program.
“The market has changed with the Internet,” Trent said. “That’s no secret. Our answer to that is our book rental program.”
Trent said this program has been successful and students have appreciated it.
According to Nebraska Book Company’s website, they have launched a new business strategy called Rent-Every-Book, and they expect the model to increase the success of their stores in the future. The company also has plans to more aggressively market online tools.
Trent said the closing of the other two bookstores will not affect pricing of books at Ned’s. The company is also trying to liquidate excess inventory and consolidate some inventory and staff from the two closing stores to Ned’s. To aid in liquidation, there will be a 75 percent sale at Campus Book & Supply until March 23.
Trent said Ned’s success, compared to the other Ypsilanti bookstores, is largely a result of its more ideal location.
EMU student Rachel Dwornick always found Mike’s prices to be fair, and foresees the closing of the off-campus bookstores changing how she shops for books next fall.
“I think it will affect how I buy books next year, as I will have to buy online or shop around,” said Dwornick.
According to NBC’s website, programs and accommodations are not affected by their recapitalization plan, and normal return and refund policies
will be upheld.
On-campus, students still have the EMU Bookstore in the Student Center from which they can purchase textbooks. The EMU Bookstore declined to comment on the situation.Originally Published: 03/14/12 7:56pm