What's up with Ulrich's?
Ulrich’s, a beloved bookstore that has served the Ann Arbor community and University of Michigan students since 1934, has recently moved to a temporary location at 610 Church St. while renovations are being finalized for their new 1200 S. University Ave. location.
The temporary location relies on counter textbook sales, in which the textbooks are sold over a counter on the front lawn and no public entrance is allowed to the house. The change in location has forced workers at Ulrich's to change the way their business operates.
“We need your schedule first and then we will find your books and you can choose to purchase or rent your textbooks after this point at the register,” the Ulrich's website explains.
LSA sophomore Danielle Belanger said this style caused her to experience delays and disorganization.
“I went there the other day and I just left because it was a mess,” Belanger said. “There were a lot of people and you couldn’t get inside.”
While Ulrich's is still providing textbooks to University students, the current operation has left many students seeking other ways to purchase their required readings.
LSA freshman Liz Abreu said she was not expecting to get her textbooks this way, but did not encounter an excess wait period.
“I went to Barnes and Noble, but they were out of a lot of stuff,” Abreu said. “Ulrich's is the other big bookstore on campus.”
Tom Kline, vice president of corporate communications at the Follett Company — which has owned and operated Ulrich’s since 2015 — explained the transition and current setup.
“Ulrich’s is transitioning to a new permanent location at 1200 South University Avenue,” Kline wrote in an email interview. “Construction of Ulrich’s new South University Avenue home is expected to be completed by the end of the month.”
Kline also noted this is the bookstore's first relocation in its 80-year history at the University, which means that this is the first major update to the bookstore’s facilities in the past 80 years.
“Students should expect find the same great Ulrich’s service and the best selection of textbooks and merchandise available locally, a combination that has made the store a fixture in the University of Michigan campus community,” Kline wrote. “The new location will also offer a (sic) updated environment to make the bookstore shopping experience easier and more enjoyable.”
Along with a brand-new store interior, students can also expect new amenities that the Follett Company hopes will ease students worries about the climbing costs of education.
“Ulrich’s new store will offer a range of cost-saving alternatives, including rental, used, digital textbooks and a price-match program.”