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April 18, 2024

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Spring Housing Guide

Store closes due to BiG Charge

All that is left at 1424 East Wooster is a vacant shop with paper covering its windows and a “closed” sign on the door. This is where the BEE-GEE book store served the Bowling Green community for forty years.

Business at BEE-GEE had been steadily decreasing in recent years, which lead to the owner’s decision to close the store at the end of February. Manager, Kent Kokomoor, said that he believes the main reason for low business was due to the Universities’ BiG Charge card.

“The University has always said that they support the community, but when it comes down to it they are killing of a lot of competition with the BiG Charge card,” said Kokomoor. He believes that since students are able to use the BiG Charge as a credit card, they are more likely to go to the Union Bookstore for books than go to his stores where they cannot use the BiG Charge.

Students do have the option to use City Bucks, which can be an alternative to using their BiG Charge. City Bucks allows students to used their student ID cards off campus. It works like a debit card rather than the BiG Charge, which is a credit card. Kokomoor said that City Bucks did little to boost sales. He believes is due to the fact that they money has to be there when students make the purchase with City Bucks.

“City Bucks has been a waste,” he said. “We see only a few sales coming in on that card.”

Kokomoor has been working at the state level to allow the BiG Charge to be used off campus. He is optimistic about the future of SBX, that he also manages, even though BEE GEE went out of business. He said that his customers are loyal and he believes that BEE-GEE customers will patronize SBX. He hopes to see an increase in sales, but realizes that BEE-GEE customers may go to the Union.

Freshman, Allison Cooper, shopped at BEE-GEE several times since coming to Bowling Green. She said that she would probably buy books at the Union because it was closer to her residence hall, Harshman- Dunbar.

“It will be a little more inconvenient when I have to get something,” she said. “I’ll have to walk to the Union.”

When BEE- GEE originally opened in 1965, it was established to serve the students like Cooper who live in the quads, Harshman and Kreisher. It was opened seven years after SBX. Both stores are owned by Student Book Exchange Incorporated. Kokomoor said that SBX has always received more business than BEE-GEE, mainly due to its location and parking availability.

Since both stores are owned by the same company, none of the BEE-GEE employees had to be let go. Instead, many of them transferred to SBX to work. Most of the merchandise was also transferred to SBX.

Kokomoor said that the older merchandise from each store was moved to the old BEE-GEE location and they plan on having a liquidation sale at the end of the month. He said that the owners of the building will be renting it out.

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