Western Michigan University Spends $2 Million To Buy Rival Bookstore; Other Nations Going Digital

Sharon Rieger's picture

Western Michigan University is spending $2 million to buy one of its biggest competitors in the textbook market.

The move comes as South Korea is eliminating textbooks in its schools in favor of digital technology, and three other countries are headed that way.

WMU last week purchased the land and building houses the privately owned University Bookstore for $1 million, and bought the business operation for $980,000. The university also will be leasing warehouse space for three years, paying $20,000 a year.

“These are dicey times for a book store, with the move away from the printed word and toward digital readers,” university spokeswoman Cheryl Roland said. “But the university believes this is an opportunity to purchase a parcel it has been interested in.” 

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