Bankstreet Bookstore, one of the last independent booksellers on the Upper West Side, is in danger of closing because its lease runs out in early 2015 and Bankstreet College’s board has recommended that they not renew it.
The problem is that rent is up considerably, but sales aren’t, according to Shelf Awareness, a website that covers the book business.
College president Elizabeth Dickey wrote in a letter that the bookstore’s “sales remain flat and revenues overall had declined 7% over the last decade, while the rent for the store, located on the southwest corner of Broadway and West 112th Street, had grown by 56%, and operating losses had ‘increased significantly.'”
“The Board of Trustees recommended that the college not renew its lease and continue to ‘explore other possible locations in the general area” and “e-commerce models should there be no suitable and affordable space available.'”
“Affordable space” on the Upper West Side, of course, is as plentiful as flamingos in Alaska.
Concern about the store had first been raised on twitter by New York Times Book Review editor Pamela Paul, who wrote on Wedneaday “I can’t be the only person on twitter distressed to learn that Bank Street Bookstore’s lease runs out next year and isn’t being renewed.” She had been told by a staff member.
The Bankstreet Bookstore opened in 1970, originally inside the college, before moving to its 112th street spot. It ‘s known for its outstanding collection of children’s books and its friendly, knowledgeable staff. The store holds lots of events, which we tend to list on our calendar. This Saturday it’s participating in Take Your Child to a Bookstore Day.
There’s no campaign that we know of to save the store yet (news literally just broke), but we’ll keep following it. Please let us know if you hear anything. The store’s Facebook page may also be a good place to check for updates.
In the meantime, check out the store’s holiday gift guide. You can buy items from Bankstreet online or in the store.
Photo via Bankstreet Facebook page.