For years now, from many different sources, I've heard rumors that the Capitol Hill Half Price Books was on the verge of closing. But yesterday, I heard a strangely specific rumor that the store was set to close on June 2nd. There has never been a date to go along with the rumors before, so I sent an e-mail to Anne Von Feldt, the Western Regional Manager of Half Price Books, and she confirmed the rumor. Von Feldt says:
Yes, we recently decided not to renew the lease and the Capitol Hill store will close June 2. We have great customers at this store, but not enough traffic, so we felt it would be best to focus our resources on our other seven Washington locations.
We're committed to the Seattle area - we've been here since 1984. We look forward to seeing our customers at our other locations including the closest store to Capitol Hill - our U. District location on Roosevelt, which is about 4 miles away - and stores in the north end (Lynnwood, Everett), on the eastside (Bellevue, Redmond), and in Tacoma.
Half Price Books has continued to open stores, and have opened 11 since 2010, including our 116th store in Lexington, Kentucky, which opened today. We're working to redefine what it means to be a 21st century brick and mortar bookstore.
We are encouraging our employees to apply for transfers to any of our seven other locations. We are also looking at possible new Half Price Books sites in the Puget Sound area and hope to announce a new store in the coming months.
This is terrible news. The Capitol Hill Half Price Books is a surprisingly beautiful store, and the staff has always been cheerful and helpful. Let's hope everyone manages to track down new employment soon, hopefully in some of Seattle's other great bookstores.