Bookstores Hope Customers Skip Online Retailers For Local

Laveta Brigham

Amazon Prime Day begins Tuesday, but local retailers hope customers don’t overspend. Bookstores like Market Block Books and The Book House, which have the same owner, said online companies like Amazon have negatively impacted their business. Add COVID-19 concerns to that equation, and local stores have had to make some […]

Amazon Prime Day begins Tuesday, but local retailers hope customers don’t overspend.

Bookstores like Market Block Books and The Book House, which have the same owner, said online companies like Amazon have negatively impacted their business. Add COVID-19 concerns to that equation, and local stores have had to make some tough decisions.


What You Need To Know

  • Market Block Books and The Book House were able to remain operational throughout the pandemic
  • Sales have gone down because of the pandemic
  • Employees hope loyal customers will continue to shop local instead of using online retailers

“We’d like to keep both stores running, but if it comes down to it, the store that’s going to continue running is going to be the Book House because it’s a bigger store and it has more clientele. I’m hoping that our Troy customers realize that we need their support,” said Susan Taylor, a buyer and bookseller at Market Block Books.

During March through May, Taylor was often the only person inside the book store at any given time. The business had moved to a curbside pickup model.

“Who knew what the heck was going on. We didn’t know. But we had a lot of people who did come and pick up books and we kept the lights on and we paid the rent,” said Taylor.

Both locations reopened to the public in June, allowing 10 customers at one time. Customers are showing up and it’s those regulars that have made things a bit easier.

“One person, I don’t know if it was a woman or a man, walked into The Book House and handed over a check for $500 just to say we want to support you and thank you so much. And now I’m going to cry. Our customers are great,” said Taylor.

The hope is that trend will continue and people won’t become too reliant on online ordering.

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