Archie and Pat Kutz officially put their 42-year-old bookstore, Lift Bridge Book Shop in Brockport, N.Y., on the market last week with an e-mail to customers and a posting on the New Atlantic Independent Booksellers Association listserv this week. After more than four decades, Archie Kutz told PW that he and his wife are ready to retire. They plan to take their time choosing the right buyer, since they own the building. “We’d definitely like the bookstore to continue. We’d like to have something happen in a year,” he said.
Lift Bridge, which is 20 minutes from Rochester, has a large children’s section along with toys, greeting cards, magazines, office supplies, and art materials. It also handles online and in-store textbook sales for nearby SUNY College at Brockport, which has more than 8,000 students and faculty. “At this point,” said Kutz, “we haven’t approached a broker. We’re just feeling our way.” He encourages potential buyers to contact either him or his wife directly at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Kutzes aren’t the only long-time booksellers to try to sell their store at the fall regionals. At the Heartland Fall Forum last week, Linda Bubon and Ann Christopherson handed out flyers advertising the sale of 34-year-old Women & Children First in Chicago. They, too, are ready to retire. So many aging booksellers are interested in transitioning their stores that the New England Independent Booksellers Association conference held a session on “Creative Transitions in Book Store Ownership,” which included David Sandberg, who with his wife, Dina Mardell, purchased Porter Square Books in Cambridge, Mass. in mid-August. The October panel was a continuation of a well attended workshop earlier in the year on “Your Bookstore’s Next Chapter.”