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My MBA Journey: Lessons from the Closure of a Beloved California Bookstore



Last Updated on February 27, 2024 by Robert C. Hoopes

After 40 years of operation, the beloved used-book store, Book Rack, in Arcadia, California, has sadly closed its doors for the final time. The closure highlights the ongoing struggles faced by small businesses in the state, as owner Karen Kropp was forced to shut down the store due to declining sales, worsened by the consumer shift to online shopping and the impact of the pandemic.

At 79 years old, Kropp has made the difficult decision to retire and will be moving to Albuquerque to live with her sister after clearing out the shop. Her story is not unique, as many aging small-business owners in California are facing financial challenges and tough decisions about their legacy.

The high cost of living in California has left many elderly residents in poverty and even homelessness, with estimates suggesting that a single renter in L.A. County needs nearly $3,000 a month to cover basic necessities. The rise of online giants like Amazon and the effects of the pandemic have significantly impacted small businesses like Book Rack, ultimately leading to its closure.

Sadly, the struggles faced by small businesses in California extend beyond just bookstores. Industries such as restaurants and event venues have also expressed frustration with the state’s regulations, which they believe hinder their ability to do business successfully.

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The difficult economic climate and state policies have pushed some Californians to make drastic decisions, with attorney Krystle Meyer citing financial reasons and frustrations with COVID-19 restrictions as her reasons for leaving the state. As the state navigates these challenging times, it is clear that more support and resources are needed to ensure the survival of small businesses and the livelihoods of their owners.

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Dina J. Miller is an accomplished writer and editor with a passion for business and education. With over a decade of experience in the industry, she has established herself as a leading voice in the MBA community. Her work can be found in a variety of MBA magazines and college publications, where she provides insightful commentary on current trends and issues in the field. Dina's expertise in business and education stems from her extensive academic background. She holds a Master's degree in Business Administration from a top-tier business school, where she excelled in her studies and developed a deep understanding of the complexities of the business world. Her academic achievements have been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including induction into several prestigious academic societies.

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