The closing of Barnes and Noble bookstore on Grand River Avenue has resulted in a significant increase in sales for Schuler Books in Eastwood Town Center.
The demand for books in a college town seems to be significantly high, and without a plethora of different bookstores within the range of East Lansing, Schuler Book store has done pretty well.
Dewey Lawrence, manager at Schuler Books in the Eastwood Town Center located on Lake Lansing Road, said since Barnes and Noble closing, there has been an initial increase of customers and traffic within the store.
“We noticed more first time customers who were former customers of Barnes and Noble,” Lawrence said.
Although there is no record of any significant decrease in sales at Schuler Books while Barnes and Noble on Grand River Avenue was still open, Lawrence said that they have definitely been affected positively.
“The response for books and returning customers has now been leveled,” he said.
Lawrence said that St. Thomas Aquinas Church recently made an agreement with Barnes and Noble over the sales of products, but changed their agreement to sell their products at Schuler Books.
The main reason for the amount of traffic has a lot to do with the Reading Group Center, which is located in the Chapbook Café in the store. There is a section of books that are at the front of the store that are set-aside for the groups and book clubs.
The Reading Group Center allows for people of all ages to join and discuss various book readings.
With the whole idea of electronic publishing, Lawrence said that there has been an increase in the amount of people who use e-readers, but it hasn’t affected business significantly. “There has definitely been a clear influence of e-readers,” he said.
Lawrence said that Schuler Books has just recently marketed an e-reader. The e-reader is called “Kobo” and is very similar to the iPad, marketed by Apple. This e-reader can be found in local Schuler Book stores.
Display for the new KOBO e-Reader book.
Katelyn Suski, a junior at Michigan State University studying special education, said that her sophomore year she relied on Barnes and Noble, located on Grand River, to purchase books for her education classes.
Upon the closing of Barnes and Noble, Suski found herself looking for an alternative bookstore that was local, in order to make purchases on books that she needed. Suski said she found out about Schuler’s Bookstore when a peer of hers recommended that she go there.
“Schuler’s was a warm and welcoming bookstore that was available in the event that Barnes and Noble was now closed,” she said. “I have to say, my worries about there no longer being a Barnes and Noble quickly went away upon entering into the store.”
“While looking through the bookstore for the first time, I found myself attracted to the café that is there. I think this is a great benefit to have within the store, by being able to enjoy a cup of coffee or snack while reading a book, and also allowing for reading groups,” Suski said.
Suski said she encourages her peers to check out the bookstore at their own leisure.
Photo Credit: ellenairgood.com
“Schuler’s Bookstore has reasonable prices that accommodate to my financial status,” she said. “Whenever I am in need of a children’s book for my classes, Schuler’s is my go-to bookstore.”
Stephanie Tatro, a junior at MSU, said that she enjoys going to Schuler’s Bookstore for the café with her friends to study.
“It’s a great atmosphere and very convenient place to go to with friends to study and do homework,” she said. “I like the convenience of being at a bookstore, so that I am exposed to many different books if I need to be.”
Tatro said that she discovered Schuler’s Bookstore this year, upon looking for a few different books for her communication classes.
“I just transferred to MSU this year, so Schuler’s Bookstore is the only bookstore I am familiar with around here,” she said. “I love the whole environment, from the plethora of books, to the awesome customer service.”