The Luther Book Shop will be celebrating 80 years of serving the college and the Decorah community with a party on Friday from 8:45 a.m. until 4:45 p.m. Everyone is invited to stop in for cake and in-store promotions.
The Book Shop first opened its doors in the basement of the Main building in 1938. After being relocated twice, the Shop opened in its current location in 1962 when the Centennial Union building was built. Over the past 80 years, the Book Shop's location isn't the only thing that's changed. Like many other college book stores across the country, Luther's Book Shop has been forced to reconfigure itself in order to compete with online retailers.
Book shop manager Deanna Casterton says, "Like almost all retailers, online competition has changed how we do business. Over the years, textbook sales have slowly declined, so clothing items, gifts and spirit products have filled this void. The physical space these items take up in our store and on our website is intentional."
When customers purchase merchandise from the Luther Book Shop, the revenue stays on campus. "Just like buying local helps downtown Decorah, buying from your college owned bookstore keeps money on our campus and out of the hands of the retail giants," explains Casterton.
In addition to selling retail merchandise, the Luther Book Shop hosts a variety of events during the year to support the students and staff with food, fun, and even prizes. In December, there are study break parties, in February there is Wii bowling, and on May 4th there will be Star Wars themed activities.
"The Luther Book Shop is one of the most visible faces of campus," says Casterton. "We are the supplier of course materials, a place to take a study break, a book signing venue, the latest and greatest clothing, and an ear to a student who needs to talk. It is very rewarding to our entire store staff to know what an impact our store is to our campus."