“We had to make a decision” says DuBois’ general manager

MATT HAFLEY

MATT HAFLEY

DuBois Book Store silently closed forever Tuesday evening, leaving patrons of the nearly 75-year-old business without explanation.

“We had to make a decision about fall,” said General Manager John DuBois.

The bookstore is significantly less busy during the summer sessions and if the owner of the store wished to continue for another year, employees would need to begin ordering books for fall semester, DuBois said.

For the next six weeks, employees and DuBois family members will be packing up books in the store and shipping them to the DuBois Book Store near the University of Cincinnati.

“This is a quiet time and we felt it was best to leave somewhat abrupt and do it now because if we order all of those fall books we’ll get into a whole other season,” DuBois said.

DuBois said he plans to release a statement about the closings Wednesday afternoon.

J. Howard DuBois, who a month ago became the sole owner of the location after decades of a partial ownership, made the ultimate decision to close the store on South Lincoln Street.

Although the Kent store is the oldest location, the company owns two Dubois Book Stores outside the area—one near the University of Cincinnati campus and the other near the Miami University campus. Neither have plans of closing and by the end of July, the Miami University store will move into a newly erected four-story mixed-use building in Oxford, Ohio.

DuBois, who is the son of the 87-year-old owner, said the location’s “valuable real estate” also contributed to the decision of closing down.

The DuBois Book Store company owns many parcels of property throughout Kent, but its largest area of land is on the south corner of South Lincoln Street and East Summit Street—a block away from where Edwards Communities is expected to build a 246-unit student housing complex.

One more important piece of property DuBois’ owns is the Willow Street parking lot students use behind the bookstore. The lot has no plans to be fenced off as of yet and students with summer parking passes are welcome to continue using the parking lot, DuBois said.

No plans have been made about their parking policy for the fall semester, DuBois added.

DuBois said he isn’t sure what’s going to happen with the property and its merchandise moving forward, and no plans will be concrete until mid-August.

“We have a lot of clothing and souvenirs up there,” DuBois said of the top-level portion of the bookstore. “They’re branded Kent State University so we may sell them to another store; (or) we may open up when school starts and have a sale.”

“Kent is in a state of flux,” DuBois added. “And sitting on a substantial piece of real estate, we’re part of that flux.”

All options are on the table, including opening a new business in Kent, DuBois said.

“But for a college bookstore — selling textbooks — this is the end of the road for us,” DuBois said. “That doesn’t mean other things might not come.”

Contact Simon Husted at [email protected]