From the Schuler Books Facebook page:
Dear Schuler Books Downtown customers,
Five years ago we decided to take a chance and experiment with operating a bookstore in downtown Grand Rapids. River Bank Books had opened and closed in a little over a year. This presented us with an opportunity to take over their space and see if we could make a downtown bookstore work. There were a number of handicaps to overcome. In particular, the space lacked Monroe Center frontage and convenient parking. Plus, it takes a wide customer base to support a bookstore – much wider that the customer base needed for a clothing store, or even a grocery. But it was a beautiful little store, and lots of good things were happening downtown. It was an exciting challenge, and it has been a joy to bring Schuler Books to downtown Grand Rapids for the past five years.
And what a time we chose to make a downtown experiment! Almost immediately we entered the worst recession since the Great Depression, and the retail book industry itself has been undergoing profound changes. Still, we have managed to maintain our level of sales over this entire time so that they are fairly close to where we started. We are very impressed by, and thankful for, the loyalty and support of our downtown customers. We also truly appreciate the assistance and support of our neighbors, landlord, and the city.
However, it's time to renew our lease, so we must again evaluate the promise of a downtown store. While sales have been steady, they have not been outstanding. It's hard to justify another commitment. Regretfully, the experiment must come to an end. We will be running a farewell sale and closing down the store this winter. This is a hard decision to take, but the right one.
Everyone at the store has loved working in the downtown environment. You should know that they have all been offered opportunities at our other locations. Please accept our heartfelt thanks for your support these past five years. It's been a wonderful ride. Hopefully, we will see you at our flagship store located on 28th St., or its sister store on Alpine Avenue, as well as online at www.schulerbooks.com.
With sincere appreciation,
Bill & Cecile Fehsenfeld
Owners, Schuler Books
*Feb 28, 2013 is an estimated date*