Harlem’s Hue-Man Bookstore told customers by e-mail that it will close on July 31, the end of their lease. The store staff tries to position the move as a new beginning rather than an ending:
“Closing the existing format of Hue-Man is forward thinking on our part and as we take pause to re-imagine the future of books and how to ensure that their purpose of entertaining, imparting knowledge and honing creativity is preserved, we find no viable alternative but to go back to the drawing board. Closing our beloved bookstore, I assure you was a very hard decision for us. Yet, the confluence of events, changing landscape, the end of our lease and the international expansion of our vision, closing our physical location was the only sensible decision we could make. There is no way to re-imagine the bookstore of the future in our current space. To try to do so would be a stop gap and a waste of resources.”
They are hoping to win a Chase Grant “so that we can hasten our physical return,” and will continue to sell online (though right now their site is offline).
Separately, The Reader’s Cove in Fort Collins, CO is also closing, on July 6, after five years in business. They cite “many factors, some more so than others.” Among them: “We never really recovered from the economic downturn in 08 and 09 and we have been hanging on by our fingernails for a couple of years, so much so that it had become the ‘new normal.'”