XENIA — Blue Jacket Books, a long-time fixture in downtown Xenia, is closing.
Co-owner Lawrence Hammar announced on Facebook Jan. 30 that Saturday, May 12 will be the store’s last day.
He said sales and to an extent “local politics” led him to the decision to shut down after 12 years.
“We’re bumping along, 40, 50, 12, 32 dollars a day,” he said. “We had a miserable holiday season.”
He said one Saturday the store did $61 in sales, with all but $1 coming from one customer.
“It’s just not working out,” Hammar said. “The better the book store has become … the higher quality of the books we have, the better organized and clean they are the worse the sales have become. People do look around, and they love the bookstore and they love the books. Nobody’s actually buying the books. We’ve literally tried everything and nothing works.”
Table of Contents Cafe and the other tenants inside Hammar’s space will still be open, he said.
“We will be looking for other businesses to come in that fit our aesthetics and politics,” he said. “We believe very strongly in all the people who are here in the business with us.”
When asked what he meant by politics, Hammar declined to elaborate.
“I think it’s fairly clear what kind of politics there are in Greene County,” he said. “It’s just not a book town.”
He said there are structural problems with the downtown area and “not enough has been done to make those changes.”
“It’s not getting better, it’s getting worse,” Hammar said.
In preparation for the final day, the store will be selling off all its merchandise Monday, March 5 through the May 12 closing.
According to the post on Facebook, Hammar will be looking for sell all the books, fixtures, shelving carts, sharpies, kick stools, pens and pencils. One discount will be offered for online books and another for in-store books.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.