AM 760 KFMB - Talk Radio Station - San Diego, CA - The story behind the closure of KB Books

The Mike Slater Show

The story behind the closure of KB Books

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Ken Appel, the owner of the now closed KB Books, talked with Mike Slater about his store and why he had to close his doors.

Appel started KB Books when he was a student at UC San Diego in 1984. He told Slater that the idea to open a bookstore was born from his desire to sell books, at a discounted rate, to students.

When he first started shopping for his text books at the UC San Diego campus bookstore, he noticed the high prices and, at that time, there weren’t other options available. This prompted him to search for solutions, which would soon include starting his own book business.

After some research, Appel discovered that he could order text books and sell them as long as he was a bookstore owner. After he established and opened his bookstore at UC San Diego, he was able to sell books for about 10 percent less than the campus bookstores.

In 1986, Appel moved his business to San Diego State University, but he said his store was not well-received.

Appel was in operation for more than 30 years, until he decided to close his store, explaining that the bookstore was no longer a viable business.

Listen to the complete interview here:

He said the market had become difficult and attributed some of the challenges to the advent of Amazon.

Another reason for the closure included the sale of the building Appel occupied. Appel said SDSU purchased the building and then increased the rent.


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