ANN ARBOR – Approaching its 25th birthday, Nicola’s Books is known as a townie go-to spot for books and book-related events on the west side of Ann Arbor.
Even with its doors closed during the COVID-19 pandemic, the community favorite made sure customers had something to read.
First named Little Professor, the independent bookstore in the Westgate Shopping Complex was rebranded to Nicola’s Books after it was purchased by Nicola Rooney in 1995.
Now owned by Schuler Books, who bought it from Rooney in 2014, Nicola’s Books has been fulfilling orders, organizing virtual events and adapting to changes and challenges.
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In March, Nicola’s Books had to shut its doors to the public. Alana Haley, the marketing coordinator for Schuler Books, said that very few people were allowed into the bookstore. Those who were allowed, like managers and some employees, would try to fulfill orders that the bookstore couldn’t fulfill through its warehouses.
Over the course of the pandemic, demand for online sales grew dramatically. Haley said that website traffic double and tripled when the store was online-only and that the influx in traffic has stayed consistent.