March 9, 2016

Kraftees Closes Doors After 10 Years of Collegetown Operations

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After over 10 years in Ithaca, the Collegetown location of  Kraftees College Textbook and Clothing store will close its doors at the end of March.

While there is another location of Kraftees in Oswego — approximately 75 miles away — the Ithaca location is closing permanently, according to owner Patrick Kraft.

Plans are in place to build an apartment building, Dryden South, where Kraftees was formerly located. It will have 40 new beds and should be completed by August 2016, according to Kraft.

Although Kraft had originally planned to have Kraftees occupy the ground floor space of Dryden South,  because the Johnson School will house a new education center next door, Kraft said he decided to “explore other more complementary uses for the commercial space.”

Kraft said that although he regrets that he must leave his Ithaca location, he is looking forward to spending more time with his family.

“I have proudly served the Ithaca community since 2002, but I felt that moving forward with a new building on the site would help to better serve the community as a whole,” Kraft said. “We have moved several times, constantly trying to improve our service to Cornell students and faculty.”

Kraft said he is grateful to his faithful customers who have visited the store over the past decade.

“Opening the store in Collegetown has been an excellent experience since day one, and the foray of people since that time has provided many fond memories,” he said.

Kraft said he recalls many special memories at Kraftees, including housing Cornell memorabilia at his store before his team moved down the street.

“When we occupied 325 College Ave., we had a crew boat from Cornell Crew hanging in the store,” Kraft said. “It was used in multiple championship races and really helped create a lot of pageantry in the store. When the building was closed and we were forced to move, taking down that boat was a solemn moment.”

Kraft added that he hopes the Cornell community will always appreciate what his store offered to the community.

“We hope in the coming weeks that the community will make one last stop to Kraftees,” he said. “We hope that we are remembered fondly and that we will be missed.”

Several students mentioned that they will miss the lower textbook prices the store offered, calling them much better than those at the Cornell Store.

“They had everything the Cornell store had, but at a discounted rate,” said Adon Chowdhury ’18, who added that he will now have to find a new place to buy textbooks. “The Cornell store overprices their textbooks, so I’ll probably end up using Amazon or online sources instead.”

James Jiang ’18 said he will miss Kraftees’ convenience and friendly customer service.

“The people who work at Kraftees are really nice,” Jiang said. “They always give me a free Cornell shirt whenever I buy books there.”