Though the bookstore on South Campus has been shut down, its operations will continue with new expansions for The WKU Store on Nashville Road.
Jim Sears, operations director of The WKU Store, said the South Campus bookstore was “in limbo for a while” before it was shut down in early November.
“It (the South Campus bookstore) was one of those operations that just wasn’t making any money,” Sears said. “We have the WKU store on Nashville Road, which initially was just going to be like a temporary location, but then we decided it was so well-received by the community that we decided to keep it open.”
Auxiliary Services Director Gary Meszaros said the South Campus store’s sales were limited following the semester start.
“We were just looking at it like, you know this is not a place that’s making money right now,” Sears said. “Ultimately, we need to be creating revenue, but at the same time we want to provide services to the student.”
Sears said relocating the bookstore to the building on Nashville Road was seen as a better decision than keeping the South Campus location open.
“We decided to kind of shift our direction to the Nashville Road store,” he said.
The WKU Store on Nashville Road has been open since April 2012 and has been financially successful, Sears said.
He said WKU already owned the building the store currently occupies and decided to use it as a receiving area for the campus bookstore.
“It had a storefront and we got to thinking, ‘You know what? Let’s take advantage of the storefront, roll the dice here, see if it works,’” he said.
Sears said the gamble paid off.
“The community’s really embraced it, and in all honesty, a lot of faculty (and) staff shop at the Nashville Road store even though they’re on Main Campus,” he said. “It’s been really a pleasant, pleasant surprise.”
Despite the closing of the South Campus bookstore, Meszaros said there will still be book buyback on South Campus.
“We’re still going to be there for sellback or buyback books,” he said. “We’ll set up in the lobby for that, and then we’re going to deliver books through a textbook reservation program.”
Sears said the back of the Nashville Road store is still being used as a stockroom. Once that area is freed up, however, the WKU Stores has the potential to expand the venue.
“We’ve got a building there that can definitely morph into whatever we want it to morph into,” he said. “It’s just right now finding out what it is.”