Coop Pursues Effort To Run Yale Co-op

Harvard seeks to manage mailing list and website

The Harvard Coop has expressed interest in running the Internet site and mailing list of the recently-closed Yale Co-op, but the Yale Co-op is still luke-warm on the deal, according to Jeremiah P. Murphy Jr. '73, president of the Harvard Coop.

"There hasn't been any movement," Murphy said. "There may be some interest; there may not be. [The Yale Co-op] has shown no interest in dealing with us."

If the Harvard Coop were to purchase or take over the Yale Co-op's mailing list, the Yale Co-op--which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last November--might continue to exist as an Internet or mail-order business.

Murphy said the Harvard Coop expressed interest in the deal because the Yale and Harvard bookstores appeal to similar consumers.

"You're dealing with the same people," he said.

Murphy said the Harvard Coop would not help keep the store's New Haven retail location open.

He said dealings with the Yale Co-op remain in very preliminary stages.

Representatives of the Yale Co-op could not be reached for comment yesterday.

The Yale Co-op's troubles began when, in 1997, Yale refused to renew the store's lease, and Barnes and Noble took over, creating the Yale Bookstore.

The Yale Co-op moved to a less central location one block from the edge of campus. It lost its title as Yale's official bookstore, and professors were encouraged to send book orders to the new Yale Bookstore.

Two years later, the Co-op filed for bankruptcy. Wallace Bookstores, Inc., based in Kentucky, which manages many other college bookstores, took over the store under bankruptcy protection.

But on Wednesday, Wallace Bookstores closed the Yale Co-op. The Co-op owes creditors over $1.2 million.

The Harvard and Yale Cooperative Societies are operated independently from their respective universities.