LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) — A central bookstore for students at the University of Kansas is closing, largely because of dwindling textbook sales.
Jayhawk Bookstore’s last day was Thursday. It’s one of several businesses owned by the Levin family, which also owns Varney’s Book Store in Manhattan, which is also closing, The Lawrence Journal-World reported.
“We’re going completely out of business,” said Jeff Levin, one of the owners. “It’s like death by 1,000 slices, because there’s a lot of factors. Obviously we lost a lot of market share to the internet, but also buying trends have changed.”
Levin said Jayhawk Bookstore’s “bread and butter” was textbooks and that the owners had predicted a significant loss for January, but it was even deeper than anticipated.
“To pay for the kind of square footage we were using we needed textbooks to do well,” he said.
He said that faculty members instead of assigning books are assigning more “chunks” of information. He also said there’s been a rise in online open-access material and more students ordering books online. If people aren’t coming in the door to buy books, they don’t buy many supplies either, Levin said.
There’s also more competition with collegiate gear, Levin said. “Even grocery stores are selling clothing.”
The University of Kansas Bookstore is and will remain the only on-campus store for textbooks, said University of Kansas Memorial Unions director David Mucci. He said commonly needed class supplies are also available elsewhere on campus.
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