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The Last Season

Whereas once I found myself doing things for the first time
I now find myself doing things for the final time.

If anyone knows the source of that quotation, I’d love to know.  Today I pondered the fact that without major improvement, we’re heading into the final year of our store. Our lease expires in May, 2016, and that seems like a logical end point.

This is the last Spring season, to be followed by the last Summer, the last Fall and the last Christmas selling season.

I now have a mental closure date formulated in January, but absolutely no idea on how to stage a closing sale in such a small market. No wonder it’s big city stores that shut down, they can hold a liquidation and actually have a population base large enough to turn up for the sale. In a smaller town, especially in the fall and winter months, I find myself selling to the same people over and over again.

Our best case scenario involves someone wanting to start a store from scratch and purchase a very balanced inventory with a high proportion of sale titles that has been carefully curated. They would definitely open strong.

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. June 4, 2015 at 12:16 pm

    I keep coming back to this post every week but still cant find the words to say how sorry I am to hear this. I own a small 1200 square foot store and work by myself which keeps my costs really low. Yet every spring I still find myself every spring trying to decide if this should be my last year. At this point I have four boys at home with the youngest being only 4 months old (he gets to come to work with me every day). Life is so busy and the declining business can be so discouraging some days. I still feel like having the store in our community is as much a ministry as a business, but after 7 years I am getting tired of volunteering my time for half the year. Our closest Christian Bookstore is 4 hours away and I will be so sad to see the loss of this in our community when the time comes. It made me so sad last month to read this post and could feel the pain in your decision and sadness at the end of something you obviously had a calling and passion for. I will also miss reading all your stories of crazy customers annoying supplier interactions and current industry news. Thanks for all you do.

    • June 4, 2015 at 8:47 pm

      I think it’s just good business to want to have a plan, whatever that plan may be. If the store is doing well, but your sons or daughters aren’t interested and your employees don’t have the means to buy it, then you would still have to be thinking in terms of “what’s next,” even in the face of great sales numbers.

      Like you, I am concerned for the connections we make for people in our community. I know God is capable of raising up something else, but I hate to think of this storefront, marketplace ministry not taking place.

      If we keep thinking in terms of that January date, even it happens, afterwards, I would continue my passion for Christian literature through writing reviews and collecting books for Christian Salvage Mission, etc. I’m not even sure I would close my trade accounts, but continue to do something on a different basis. There’s a different online model we’re already experimenting with.

      Rae-Anne, don’t get caught up in the store closing frenzy. We’re trying not to. If God still wants us here five years now, he will see to it we don’t shut down. He will direct us to a model that keeps the doors open.

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