Why We Love Bookstores
After spending three very full days with Jeff Kinney’s crew to prepare for the opening of An Unlikely Story, a bookstore cafe in Jeff’s hometown of Plainville, Mass., we toured the store together to admire the work that had been accomplished and learn more about the inventory selection.
What evolved was a beautiful conversation about why we so love to spend time in bookstores.
Early on, when we began developing the non-book inventory, Jeff asked us to look for items that represented: “quality, imaginative, unique, not overly expensive, not pretentious.”
We watched price points (staying under $20) and looked beyond the typical items carried in the bookstore. Thinking about the people who live in the Plainville area, we searched for items that provided for “Family Fun” and items kids could purchase with their allowance money.
The goal is to make customers smile.
Fun and weird books were put on display (otherwise found in the depths of the “Reference” section). Brightly colored journals (“Little Book of Awesome” and “Thoughts & Doodles”) prompt us to plunge into the creative side. Retro bicycle bells and “Mr. Bill” dolls went onto the Father’s Day display table. Colorful socks with amazing graphics filled an entire endcap at the far turn of the traffic path. And a whole side panel was devoted to birthday party fun.
When Jeff and his family came into the store to see how we were coming, our best initial feedback came when we overheard the boys say, “Wow!” and “Cool, look at this!”
As the team gathered to talk about the next step – officially opening the doors – we discussed what it really is that we want to accomplish. We agreed it’s about how we make people feel when they are in the bookstore.