Uka­zoo Books’ plans fall through

Space in Parkville not avail­able; store re­sumes search for new lo­ca­tion

Baltimore Sun - - TRUMP TRANSITION - By Lor­raine Mirabella lor­raine.mirabella@balt­sun.com

Uka­zoo Books, a buyer and seller of new and used books and a fix­ture in Tow­son since 2007, is clos­ing in­stead of mov­ing, the owner said Thurs­day.

The re­tailer had lost its month-tomonth lease at Du­laney Val­ley Shop­ping Cen­ter and was plan­ning to move by early De­cem­ber. But a deal to buy a build­ing on Har­ford Road in Parkville for a new lo­ca­tion has fallen apart, said Ed­ward Whit­fill, gen­eral man­ager and co-owner.

Now, the busi­ness has launched a new search for space and is hop­ing to re­open some­where in Tow­son, Parkville or Car­ney as soon as pos­si­ble, Whit­fill said.

“We are not giv­ing up that there is not go­ing to be a Uka­zoo — we just don’t know where we’re go­ing at this point,” Whit­fill said. “We’re start­ing from scratch to look for a place. We’re in a lit­tle bit of panic mode to get that done as quickly as pos­si­ble. ... We’ll still be Uka­zoo in some for­mat.”

The store’s mov­ing sale is now a clos­ing sale, with dis­counts of 40 per­cent off used books, 20 per­cent off new books and dis­counts on games and toys. Book buy­backs will con­tinue for the time be­ing.

Whit­fill said the 10,000-square-foot shop had been on a month-to-month lease for a while and the land­lord found a longer-term ten­ant.

Race Pace Bi­cy­cles an­nounced it is open­ing in the cur­rent Uka­zoo space by mid to late March. It would be the bike chain’s sev­enth lo­ca­tion af­ter it opens a small shop at 33rd and St. Paul streets in Charles Vil­lage in Jan­uary.

Uka­zoo’s own­ers still be­lieve the book­seller can be suc­cess­ful and even­tu­ally ex­pand to ad­di­tional lo­ca­tions.

The busi­ness own­ers are try­ing to de­ter­mine “what do book­stores look like for the next 10 years,” Whit­fill said. “They don’t look like they did in 1999.”

The Tow­son Uka­zoo will close in early De­cem­ber.

Uka­zoo started as an on­line text­book busi­ness, then opened the store in Tow­son in 2007. Whit­fill and the store’s orig­i­nal founders were part of a part­ner­ship that bought back the busi­ness in 2013.

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