VOL. 132 | NO. 3 | Wednesday, January 4, 2017
Owner: Booksellers at Laurelwood Closing
By Andy Meek
The Booksellers at Laurelwood has reached its final chapter after 32 years in business.
Citing a decline in sales and rent obligations, store owner Neil Van Uum says the store is preparing to close, with a liquidation sale to begin Friday, Jan. 6.
The Booksellers at Laurelwood is preparing to close, according to owner Neil Van Uum. Formerly known as Davis-Kidd Booksellers, the store has been in business for more than three decades.
(Daily News File/Lance Murphey)
Van Uum told The Daily News the store will close "probably in late February." The store currently employs about 50 people, he said, adding that its current size is about 25,000 square feet.
"We actually looked at partitioning the store, but the cost to do that was prohibitive," Van Uum said. "And we can't get out of our lease."
Here's his full statement on the closure:
"It is with much sadness that we announce we are closing The Booksellers at Laurelwood. When I stepped in 6 years ago to save this 32-year-old store, we had high hopes of getting things turned around and going forward. Unfortunately, the store size and rent are too much for us to handle com- bined with slight decline in sales over the last few years. The numbers just don’t work.
"My thoughts turn most to the tremendous staff of booksellers who have made this their life’s work. They loved their work and the wonderful customers they served over the many years.
"I thank you all for your continued support.
“We will commence the liquidation sale this Friday, January 6th. All merchandise will be marked down between 20 percent-50 percent and greater. The fixtures, furniture, and bistro equipment will also be for sale.
“Please feel free to contact me with any questions.
The Laurelwood mainstay, formerly known as Davis-Kidd Booksellers, fell on hard times in late 2010 when Davis-Kidd’s parent company filed for bankruptcy. Some stores in the former chain were bought out, while others closed.
Van Uum, who had founded Davis-Kidd’s parent company, left it to run The Booksellers at Laurelwood directly. He oversaw a renovation of the store that included expanding the children’s section and updating the café menu, among other things.