Ulrich’s Bookstore has officially moved into its new building at the corner of South University and Church. Manager Tracy Buse says the store will offer the same selection of textbooks, school supplies, and spirit merchandise that it did at its old location a block west at South University and East University.
Ulrich’s left its home of over eighty years last spring, when developer Ron Hughes began work on a ten-story student housing project. The reopening in the former Launch Board Shop had originally been scheduled for last spring. Tom Kline, VP of corporate communications at Ulrich’s parent company Follett, emphasizes that the delays had nothing to do with Ulrich’s or Follett: “the property manager was in charge of transition project and construction, so unfortunately, the ability to move into the space when we would have liked was out of our hands.”
Kline and Buse both have high hopes for the new location. While the corner building was originally supposed to be a temporary spot until the store could return to its 1935 address, neither committed to a timeline to move back. “We’re in it for the term of the lease,” says Kline.
Buse says the store setup is more streamlined for students now: “Our old store used to have a whole textbook area as well as a [separate] spirit shop. Now it’s all together … You can enter in the first door and you have all your spirit wear and all your school supplies.” Alternatively, students can use a second neighboring entrance to head directly downstairs for textbooks.
At a time when many local college bookstores are struggling with competition from online giants like Amazon, Kline and Buse say they have a three-part recipe for success. “Spirit, affordability, and the convenience are really the pieces that make the store unique,” says Kline. At a grand reopening in mid-December during U-M’s study days, they gave out coupons for apparel, gifts, and a free slice of pizza from new South U neighbor the Brown Jug.
Ulrich’s Bookstore, 1200 S. University, 662-3201. Mon.-Fri. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Closed Sun. bkstr.com/ulrichsstore