Wednesday, August 27, 2014
YOLO COUNTY NEWS
99 CENTS

Decline in book sales spells the end for Sweet Briar

Allen Marr checks out the rows and rows of used books for sale at Sweet Briar Books, 654 G St., just north of the Davis Food Co-op. The 15-year-old store is liquidating its inventory and owner Sharon Segal plans to close her doors by Dec. 31. Sue Cockrell/Enterprise photo

By
From page A1 | November 06, 2011 |

Davis is about to bid farewell to yet another bookstore.

Sweet Briar Books, the 15-year-old used bookstore in the G Street Shopping Center, will shut its doors by the end of December, the result of a significant decline in business over the past year.

Sweet Briar is the second Davis bookstore to close in recent months — following Borders in September — and with Bogey’s having closed four years ago, leaves just two remaining bookstores in town: The Avid Reader and Logos.

The store’s closure also will leave a row of five vacant storefronts on the north end of the G Street Shopping Center, which is anchored on the south end by the Davis Food Co-op.

Liquidation sales will start on Friday, with all books, CDs, DVDs and toys marked down 20 percent and all maple bookshelves and tables for sale as well.

The closure marks the end of a nice run for owner Sharon Segal, who said business was pretty good — for the first 14 years, anyway.

“But this last year,” she said, “it dropped off so much, I can’t keep going.”

The drop-off began last Christmas, which was normally a very profitable period for the store, Segal said. Instead, sales were no better than the previous month, and things continued downhill from there.

“It was a shocker,” she said. “Business just fell off and I’m not able to stay afloat.”

The closure of Borders earlier this year didn’t send any additional business her way, Segal said, and she didn’t really expect it to, given that Sweet Briar sells used books. Still, when Borders opened back in 1998, Sweet Briar did see a 25 percent drop-off in business that never returned.

Back when she opened Sweet Briar in 1996, Segal said, “the bookstore climate was already changing and people told me I was really brave. But it really was a good run for 14 1/2 years.”

Prior to opening the store, Segal had spent several years working at Bogey’s, the venerable downtown bookstore that closed its doors at the end of 2007.

“When Bogey’s closed,” Segal said, “some people wanted me to start selling new books, but I just really wanted the old-fashioned used bookstore.”

For many years, she said, it’s been the kind of place where longtime regulars would come in and browse for hours on end. A couple were there on Friday, including one older gentleman who brought along a friend to check out Sweet Briar’s science collection.

“He’s one of those who comes in and stays for a while browsing,” Segal said of the customer. “Those are the people who are really going to miss this, the people who come in and browse.”

And she will miss them.

“This was a wonderful community to do business in all these years,” she said. “A lot of people have been worried about the store for so long and have been so supportive. I don’t think a used bookstore would have lasted this long in any other community.”

Now she’s hoping the coming holiday season will help with liquidation.

“Maybe people can find their Christmas gifts here,” Segal said. “There’s a lot of books to sell.”

In addition to the books and other items that will be marked down by 20 percent beginning Friday, Segal also will sell 42 maple bookcases, each of which stands just over 7 feet tall, 10 large tables with built-in cubbies, some utility shelves in the back room, metal bookends, signs and more.

When all that is said and done, Segal said she’ll be looking for a job for the first time in nearly 16 years. She’ll also be laying off three part-time employees, including two who worked at Bogey’s before coming to Sweet Briar.

— Reach Anne Ternus-Bellamy at aternus@davisenterprise.net or (530) 747-8051.

Comments

comments

Anne Ternus-Bellamy

  • Recent Posts

  • Enter your email address to subscribe to this newspaper and receive notifications of new articles by email.

  • .

    News

    True Blue Devil Arnold gave back starting in high school

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    City, plaintiffs settle suit over water rates

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    Scrap the MRAP, council says, but wants a talk with cops

    By Dave Ryan | From Page: A1 | Gallery

     
    Yolo grows sunflower seeds for the world

    By Margaret Burns | From Page: A1 | Gallery

    American militant reportedly killed in Syria

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Gaza cease-fire holds as sides weigh gains

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

    California beach town sees flooding from hurricane

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2 | Gallery

     
    Assembly passes campus sexual-assault bill

    By The Associated Press | From Page: A2

     
    Give blood and get a free movie ticket

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Chat with Poppenga at coffee shop

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Sunder campaign distributes signs

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Dinner, auction benefit Yolo County CASA

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Farmworkers’ son wins prestigious NIH scholarship

    By Julia Ann Easley | From Page: A3 | Gallery

    Interested in Portuguese? Drop by I-House

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    Play groups offered by Center for Families

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

    Solar-cooking workshop set at Food Co-op

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A3

     
    A sweet reward for turning in cash

    By Kathy Keatley Garvey | From Page: A4

    Yolo Federal to hold photo contest

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Try yoga, meditation at Holistic Health Center

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Troops get ‘Hugs From Home’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    Raley’s pays $1.6 million to settle hazardous-waste lawsuit

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

    Back-to-school party benefits Archer campaign

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Breast cancer program examines surgery

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    Crisis nursery bill on governor’s desk

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

     
    Global warming on group’s agenda

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A4

    UCD West Village gets an electric Zipcar

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

     
     
    Documentary reveals ‘The Village Under the Forest’

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A5

    Little Rock hero featured at reunion

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: A7

     
    UCD ranks No. 16 for serving the public interest

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A7

    Wolk’s infrastructure bill clears state Senate

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A9

     
    .

    Forum

    Parents could use a hand at home

    By Creators Syndicate | From Page: B5

     
    Obama risks alienating Latinos

    By Tom Elias | From Page: A6

    A water plan for all of California

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A6

     
    Tom Meyer cartoon

    By Debbie Davis | From Page: A6

    MRAP sends the wrong message

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    Play structure idea endorsed

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

    Thanks for firearms info

    By Letters to the Editor | From Page: A6

     
    .

    Sports

    Shaw respects Aggies, while Gould is happy to get a shot at Stanford

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Devils prep for tough 2014 volleyball schedule

    By Chris Saur | From Page: B1 | Gallery

    Bumgarner deals as Giants blank Rockies

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Buschman, Cats mute the Sounds

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B1

    New coach eager to see his Aggie charges hit the courses

    By Bruce Gallaudet | From Page: B1 | Gallery

     
    Carter’s blast send Astros past A’s

    By The Associated Press | From Page: B2

    Sports briefs: Online registration ends Friday for Labor Day Races

    By Enterprise staff | From Page: B8 | Gallery

     
    .

    Features

    Field to fork: Play catch-up with summer’s produce

    By Dan Kennedy | From Page: A10 | Gallery

     
    .

    Arts

    .

    Business

    .

    Obituaries

    Franco M. Navazio, M.D.

    By Special to The Enterprise | From Page: A4

     
    .

    Comics

    Comics: Wednesday, August 27, 2014

    By Creator | From Page: B6