Ned’s Berkeley Bookstore will be downsizing and remodeling its Bancroft Way and Telegraph Avenue location to save money, just as the spring semester is about to end.
The bookstore is giving up its lease on the three floors adjacent to the store and will move books and materials originally stored there to the main store building, according to the interim District Manager Kim Sheffield.
“We were not using two out of the three floors next door, so it was a waste of space,” Sheffield said. “We are paying a lot of money for a space we are not using.”
The store’s parent company, Nebraska Book Company, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in June 2011 in order to recapitalize about $450 million in outstanding loans and debts. However, it is not clear whether the reduction in space is a direct result.
“We don’t know who is going to move in — we were just informed that (the bookstore) was vacating because of bankruptcy reorganization,” said Dana Ellsworth, president of Commercial Lessors, Inc., the company that owns the vacated building. “Hopefully we get a good tenant … who will be popular with the students.
Currently, the store’s layout and contents are being rearranged as material is moved from the adjacent floors into the main store. The store remains in business and is fully functioning, according to Sheffield.
Although there is no timeline for the remodel, the store will be cleaned up before business picks up in June and students will be able to buy books and other materials, Sheffield said.
“Even if it’s not pretty, it will be functional,” she said. “By Fall 2012 … the store will not look like the chaos it is in right now.”
Some students did not express concern over the bookstore’s future.
“I only shopped at Ned’s as a last resort,” said Farhana Jahan, a fourth-year psychology major. “They’re pretty overpriced, so I can see why they might have to downsize.”