LUBBOCK, Texas — A University Ave. staple announced on Facebook Tuesday it will be closing its doors by the end of the year. 

Varsity Bookstore was founded by a former Texas Tech University (TTU) student in 1934. With the bookstore having been a part of Raiderland for 88 years, there are people of all ages that are sad about this decision.

“We see varsity bookstore as a complete, absolute icon in this city,” said Greg Foster, a TTU Class of ‘92 alumni. 

The store served as a go-to spot for textbooks, TTU apparel, art supplies, school supplies, graduation regalia and more.

The location at University Ave. and 13th St. first switched ownership in 1955 to three former Red Raiders, and one more time in 1975 to Bill Cicherski of Asel Art Supply who still owns the store today. Bill’s son, Andrew Cicherski, is the general manager who said the store can no longer compete with online sellers. 

“The market with textbooks, e-books and access codes and direct access from publishers like Amazon has just put a dent in the way the textbook industry is now,” Andrew Cicherski said. “It’s sad. It’s been in discussion for about a month. We wanted to see how fall rush back to school ended, and we just felt like this is probably the best time to look at closing the store.” 

Andrew Cicherski said it’s a sad day, but after a decade of working at the bookstore, he’s looking forward to what the future has to hold for him and his family.

Varsity Bookstore said it will no longer buy back textbooks, sell e-books or rent course materials.

Andrew Cicherski said the bookstore will not close immediately. They still have fall graduation, football season and lots of items to sell.

According to their website, Varsity Bookstore has storewide discounts, but all items are final sale. The discounts include:

  • 40% off clothing, caps and hats, accessories, gifts and decor, decals, auto accessories, art supplies, school and office
  • 25% off graduation regalia (cap, gown, tassel, stole, honor cords)
  • 10% off diploma frames

Many TTU students, like freshman Caden Craddock, found out Varsity Bookstore was closing when they showed up to buy items for class.

“I walked in, I saw the sign and I was like, wait, this is closing already?,” Craddock said. “I just got here.”

The storefront is walking distance from the TTU campus. Craddock worries he won’t be able to find certain items after Varsity Bookstore closes.

“It was super convenient,” Craddock said. “It’s just right across the street. I don’t know where I’m going to have to travel to now just to get the things I need for class.”

Foster has lived in Lubbock his entire life. He has vivid memories of his mother bringing him to Varsity Bookstore as a child.

“It was kind of like my toy store, and I really loved it,” Foster said.

Foster fears the day Varsity Bookstore has to close. He always tries to shop local, and Varsity Bookstore consistently had the art supplies he needed for his job. Now, he said he’s forced to shop online.

“Brick-and-mortars disappearing is a sad thing in our society,” Foster said. “It’s really going to be a sad day when Varsity Bookstore has to close. It’s going to be a really big loss.”

Varsity Bookstore is open Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. It is closed on Sundays.

TTU has a bookstore on the west side of the Student Union Building (17th St. and Boston Ave.), which was recently renamed Raider Depot Campus Store, where students can buy textbooks after Varsity Bookstore closes.