Closing the store has been quite the experience. We’ve gotten some good press out of it, and the articles kind of follow the trajectory of our thinking.
The news was first broken by Shelf Awareness on August 31, 2021, one of whose contributors is smart enough to subscribe to the Browsers’ Bookstore newsletter! 🙂
I think the first local article to appear was in the Corvallis Advocate on September 7, 2021. This interview was just a few days after our newsletter announcement, and I’m already talking about people interested in buying the store.
Fast-forward to the Democrat-Herald/Gazette Times on November 10, 2021, and I’m feeling pretty good about the opportunity to sell the business. This was by far the most talked-about article, and for days almost everyone walking in the stores mentioned it!
A month later, the deal I had finally lined up fell apart. The potential buyers’ financing didn’t stack up the way they wanted, and they completely backed out. During a conversation with my co-worker Abe about the different ways to finance a purchase, I made the off-hand comment that he should buy the store himself. Two hours later, we had a covid-handshake agreement!
For a variety of reasons, Abe decided that he would need to close the Corvallis store. I was a little sad to see this, since that was the one we started from scratch. Turns out, the entire city was saddened, which is poignantly heartwarming.
This February 7, 2022 article in the Daily Barometer reflects that emotion but also details the future with Abe as owner. Shelf Awareness again picked up the news and reported it to a larger region–we had two calls from California that day about the new ownership!
For archival purposes, here are our newsletters during this time, each talking about some aspect of the transition.
August (the big announcement) Newsletter
October Newsletter (this accidentally had our most popular picture ever–dead Scott)
December Newsletter & Book Fair Preview
January (my final) Newsletter
The news & newsletters don’t really reflect the changes that would happen every day. In addition to the people wanting to buy the business, there were several dealers who wanted to buy the inventory in one or both stores. That would have been a simpler way of doing things, but it didn’t work. In the first place, the offers were never enough. In the second place, it’s been fun for me to sell steeply discounted books to customers–you’re all so happy to build up your collections!