Online buyers write the final chapter for a local business - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Online buyers write the final chapter for a local business

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Story by Paul Shahen
Eyewitness News Reporter

CHATTANOOGA (WRCB)-- Customers were stunned Thursday morning when they went to shop at a local bookstore, only to find it closed.

It comes down to a lack of sales. Rock Point store owners say too many people are buying electronic or online.

We talked to another book store owner David Smotherman of Winder Binder Books, he says he's been fortunate to stay above water.

"If you're selling a million of them, you're still making money. But the small book stores, you're selling 100 copies, you just can't do that little and keep your doors open," says Rock Point regular Cassandra Robinson.

Case in point, Rock Point books will close the doors for good by early December.

"We're competing with online businesses, Amazon, Kindle. It's a hard force, and it's hard for a local business to compete with that," says Albert Waterhouse.

Rock Point co-owner Albert Waterhouse says in times like this, he can't stress how important it is to support your local businesses.

"All of them down the street, there's local business owners that need your support. It keeps the money local and in the economy," says Waterhouse.

Waterhouse pointed out neighbor JK-3, a custom made outerwear store, that's flourishing off local sales.

The owner Kim Smith feels whatever moves in will succeed.

"You get really good traffic from all social economical walks of life to the tourism," says Kim Smith.

As for Waterhouse and his books, his story's not over, he's just changing the scenery.

"Books are my passion, I'm already concepting something up, it's going to be a smaller scale than Rock Point, but it's going to include a lot of author readings and great books," says Waterhouse.

Right now they're doing inventory at Rock Point, they plan on opening the doors for one final sale on November 15th.

No word on who's going to move in, but the Moonpie factory there will move to Klumpies Ice Cream on the North Shore.

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