Ukazoo Books’ plans fall through
Space in Parkville not available; store resumes search for new location
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.