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Shakespeare & Co. to open three new stores this year

Manhattan-based independent bookstore Shakespeare & Co. will be opening three new stores in the United States this year, reports Publishers Weekly.

The first store will open this US summer in Philadelphia, followed by two additional stores in Manhattan, which will open during the fourth quarter of 2018.

All three of the new bookstores will be roughly 3000 square feet and will include a café with wi-fi, as well as an Espresso print-on-demand book machine and a carefully selected book inventory.

A standalone Shakespeare grab-and-go café will also open this US summer near the Lexington Avenue store, which is the official bricks-and-mortar store for public university Hunter College.

Shakespeare & Co. CEO Dane Neller emphasised that as well as showcasing books, the stores will be able to print the books customers want that may not be on the shelves, using the Espresso machine. The machine will also allow customers to self-publish their own books.

Shakespeare & Co. won’t technically be an independent retailer, but Neller said, ‘to me they are independent in the sense of small and localised’. ‘We don’t see ourselves as becoming a homogenised concept.’ Although a core list of books will be bought centrally, store managers will buy local inventory and will run each store as if they were the owner. Each store will also have a different look to fit in with the community it serves.

‘In five years we’d like to be a large national presence,’ said Neller, adding that the next wave of Shakespeare bookstores will be located on the East Coast and the store network will gradually grow concentrically. He envisions new stores eventually opening in Boston and Chicago, among other cities.

‘My vision for Shakespeare & Co. has always been to create the biggest little bookshop in the world,’ he added. ‘Each new bookstore should … offer a cultural sanctuary where customers can escape from their daily routines, turn off their smart phones, relax, unwind and indulge in the luxury of reading.’

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly used the title and logo of ‘Shakespeare and Company’, rather than ‘Shakespeare & Co’, which are two separate and distinct entities. Shakespeare and Company is a family-run, independent bookshop in Paris, opened in 1951 by George Whitman. It has no affiliation with Shakespeare & Co., which is the subject of this article. Shakespeare & Co. is an American trademark, owned by a holding company with plans to open a national chain. The editors apologise for this error.


Category: International news