How Obstacles Helped Mark the Paths for Donna & Mark
Want to see what happens when a top bookstore consultant opens her dream store? After over 25 years helping hundreds of others shape bookstore success, Donna and Mark Kaufman put their good advice into personal practice and opened their store on Amelia Island. It's a neighborhood space that facilitates a broad selection of books and cards, select sidelines, a bistro with patio seating and and a large upstairs area for author, musical and educational events including the Paz how-to workshops with new booksellers.
The space had to not only look great but function well and reflect the best ideas of Paz bookstore architect Liz Dion and Franklin Fixture's designer Christine Hart. Christine, who has designed top bookstores for 35 years, said, "This group of thought leaders needed to shape a working space reflecting the industry's best practices. And it needed to be wildly successful."
So no pressure.
In good news for all of us in bookselling -- this team hit the mark in a big way! Story & Song is a store that leverages proven fixture and shelving designs in fresh and frugal ways such that it in the first months of operation it has exceeded financial targets, has hosted Jeff Kinney for a book-signing, quickly sold-out first 150 person music event and just finished the first bookseller's workshop to rave reviews.
There are too many layers of insight in this store design to cover them all, but we've chosen 23 top ideas that you can use (click for more)
Get a glimpse of the fixture secrets that are the backbone of this new store's success.
The key obstacles were the added support beams for the upstairs merchandising and event space -- those beams were turned into a useful and key fixture element for the store.
Fixtures were designed around the beams, with connecting valences at top and a double sided unit at the bottom -- creating both lines of site through the store and extensive flexible merchandising space (see photo below).
"I wanted the store to be an example, a learning space where booksellers could see the practices that we know work. It's so nice to have our workshop here rather than in a hotel conference room. We can touch and show examples that enhance learning." said Donna. "And we wanted to show solutions and strategies that are accessible and achievable for all. Our fixtures came in on the same budget that I suggest for others and Liz and I stretched the investment by leveraging Franklin's customized options fully, which is something I hope to share."
These are standard fixtures used creatively with some custom trim that creates a truly refined selling space. Take a closer look inside what is working in this great new store and let us know if you'd like to talk about anything you see in more depth... As makers of bookstore fixtures for over 44 years, we enjoy the unique spot we have to observe and share best practices.
Here are the 23 Best Practices and here is a link to Story and Song and to Paz & Associates. Please contact Lisa Uhrik at Franklin Fixtures for more information.
"When visiting Amelia as part of a recent Paz workshop, Dave and I stopped to pet a couple's dog and asked them if they knew about Story & Song... their response was so animated I asked to video them. They speak of the kinds of magic we hope to create and the practical purpose for feature face out shelves. Here's their video." -- Lisa Uhrik
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