Schuler Books prepares for a "Harry Potter" release party. Photo via fb.com
A local family owned bookstore has announced it will close one of its locations in the state.
Grand Rapids-based Schuler Books said today it will close its 15-year-old store in the Eastwood Towne Center in Lansing, at 2820 Towne Centre Blvd., when the lease ends in February.
Owners and co-founders Cecile Fehsenfeld and Bill Fehsenfeld say in a Facebook letter to customers the decision was made after Schuler was unable to reach a new lease agreement with the mall.
Eastwood Towne Center is owned and operated by Oak Brook, Illinois-based Retail Properties of America.
“The Eastwood Schuler Books is a beautiful store, with a great inventory, a terrific staff and many, many loyal customers,” the couple says. “This is a difficult step for us to take.”
The letter says after the lease term ends, the mall configuration is slated to change in such a way that would require the store to occupy a smaller space, with no room for a café, at a higher price per square foot.
The Fehsenfelds also cite a high property tax rate, which is “quadruple what we pay at our Okemos store in Meridian Township.”
“In the end, we concluded there was too much risk that the store would not be economically viable over the new lease term,” they say.
Founded in 1982, the bookseller has locations in Okemos and Grand Rapids, as well as a Nicola’s Books location in Ann Arbor.
The Schuler stores — known for hosting book signings and author events — sell books, music and gifts, as well as food and drinks in their cafés, and have an e-commerce platform at schulerbooks.com.