Students, competitors react to DuBois closing

Simon Husted

At the start of June, Sarah Lenox bought a pass to park behind DuBois Book Store. Her purchase required a $10 security deposit, to be given back once she returned the pass by summer’s end.

DuBois closed forever Tuesday. Now Lenox is wondering if she’ll get that $10 back.

“It’s only $10, but it’s still $10,” said the general studies major, who plans to graduate in August.

Meredith Locke, an English major also graduating in August, found herself in the same situation.

“There was really no warning about it,” Locke said. “I figured they were doing well.”

John DuBois, the general manager of the DuBois Book Store chain, explained staff would be present in the store during normal business hours, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Patrons who wish to return their parking pass can knock on the lower level door and ask for a woman named Cathy.

Natalie Carlson and Lindsy Lipply, senior and junior communication studies majors, said they had no idea about the closing until a Summer Kent Stater reporter informed them.

Carlson and Lipply said they’ve been buying their textbooks from DuBois Book Store over the years because of convenience and their perceived lower costs.

Lipply said she would need to find another bookstore. Although the two students said they’ve bought a few books online, they preferred the convenience of buying their books at DuBois.

“It was quick and easy to buy them here,” Lipply said.

University Bookstore and Campus Book & Supply said they plan to increase their textbook inventory, following the news that one of their biggest competitors has dropped out of business.

“Like everyone else, we were shocked,” said Mike Marquardt, bookstore director for University bookstore.

Carlson and Lipply both said they felt the closing of DuBois is another sign of more students buying their books online.

“It just shows everyone is doing that now,” Carlson said. “It’s too bad for the business.”

During an interview Wednesday, DuBois said a declining trend — shared nationally — of textbook sales at bookstores contributed to the location’s closing.

But Marquardt and Dean Kline, the store manager of Campus Book and Supply, said they don’t have the same grim outlook on the book selling industry.

“You find ways to change with the industry,” Kline said.

Both Kline and Marquardt said their book rental policies have helped business — a strategy never applied to the South Lincoln Street location. The DuBois sister stores near Miami University and University of Cincinnati do offer book rentals.

Contact Summer Kent Stater Simon Husted at [email protected].