A family-owned used bookstore in Charlotte, aptly named The Last Word, has filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection. The move comes over a month after the retailer closed its store on North Tryon Street.
The bankruptcy filing Monday means that the company is liquidating its assets and distributing the funds to its creditors. The store's website and Facebook page say that The Last Word is closed until further notice. A store representative could not be reached.
The Last Word — known for its eclectic selection of used books, disc golf equipment, vinyl records and video games — was opened in University City in November 2010 by businesswoman Liz Pope and her two sons, Matt and Marshall Hicks. The store moved to a spot previously occupied by Faulk Brothers Hardware (at 5744 North Tryon St.) in late 2015. At the time, the retailer offered customers store credit in exchange for help renovating, painting and revamping its new location.
Over the years, the shop evolved into something of a community hub, offering art shows, author signings, painting classes and slam poetry sessions. Customers could trade-in and sell books, music and movies, too.
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In its bankruptcy filing, The Last Word said its assets were estimated to be between $500,000-$1 million, and its liabilities are an estimated $500,000-$1 million. According to the filing, the store's building on North Tryon is worth $678,000.
James Hord, an attorney for the retailer, said the business has no plans to reopen in a new location in the future. "It’s a sad situation," he told the Observer.
The Last Word gave a wide range of discounts to everyone from students with ID to those older than 60, according to a 2013 Observer profile of the store. Teachers and school librarians, for instance, could receive credit for book and media donations in their name, so their classes or schools could get discounted books off the shelves.
"I feel like this store does good," owner Pope told the Observer in the 2013 interview. "We serve a really good purpose by giving good stuff a new home. There's already too much stuff in the world!"