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Half Price Books to close Lawrence store in coming months

Silly me, I thought 10 inches of snow meant that it was snow shoveling season. But based on the actions of a few other people in my house yesterday, I guess it is book-reading season.

Well, book readers soon will have one less option to feed their habit in Lawrence. Officials with Half Price Books confirmed the Lawrence store will be closing in the coming months.

An executive out of the bookstore’s corporate offices in Dallas told me the Lawrence store, located at 1519 W. 23rd Street, is slated to close on June 14.

Kathy Doyle Thomas, an executive vice president with the chain, said the Lawrence store simply was underperforming.

“We’re very sad about it,” Thomas said. “We’ve been in the Lawrence market for 10 years. There just aren’t enough customers.”

Lawrence’s education levels certainly suggest the city would be a good book market, but it appears Half Price Books may have discovered what a few other retailers have over the years: Lawrence isn’t quite as big as it first seems.

“In the Lawrence market we have a real strong base of loyal customers, but there just isn’t enough of them,” Thomas said. “With the book industry the way it is right now, we have to be in communities with a larger population.”

Thomas said the company plans to move the inventory of the Lawrence store to a new store it is opening in Independence, Mo. So, don’t expect a big going-out-of-business closeout sale.

There are about 15 employees at the Lawrence store. After its closing, the closest Half Price Book store will be in Olathe.

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