Home > Uncategorized > Store in Former Salem Location in Ottawa Staying Until Christmas

Store in Former Salem Location in Ottawa Staying Until Christmas

Last week we had an opportunity to visit Inspirational Value Centre, the store which Foundation placed in the former location of Salem Storehouse in Ottawa. In addition to books distributed by the company — albeit it nowhere near an exhaustive stocking of the entire catalogue — there was product from David C. Cook, HarperCollins and Book Depot. We took a few pictures for you…

View from the front desk looking at the video display.

View from the front desk looking at the video display. In the background are the upper and lower levels.

Because the Salem fixtures were sold off, displays were constructed from scratch for the pop-up store.

Because the Salem fixtures were sold off, displays were constructed from scratch for the pop-up, now semi-permanent store.

This is not a full-service bookstore, but features key products in mass displays

This is not a full-service bookstore, but features key products in mass displays. The CD and DVD selection is quite limited.

The upstairs section features books and Bibles but is dominated by fiction titles at 7.99

The upstairs section features books and Bibles but is dominated by fiction titles at 7.99

In the background is another card display similar to the one in the foreground. The picture is a bit blurry, guess I was shaking because I'd never seen so many cards in a single retail store!

In the background is another card display similar to the one in the foreground. The picture is a bit blurry; guess I was shaking because I’d never seen so much boxed card inventory in a single retail store!

I had another picture of the store as seen as you walk in but it didn’t work out. The store is a backsplit, the lower level is now all Children’s products, which I didn’t photograph. As stated in the video caption, for serious book buyers the inventory is extremely limited. With few other options, the Chapters locations in the National Capital Region currently fill the gap. Because it’s not a full service outlet and everything is mostly cash-and-carry, the wholesale division doesn’t benefit from the customer feedback you get in a normal retail environment, as Scripture Press did when it owned the chain of EP Bookshops in Toronto, in terms of the type of content customers are seeking. For me, that type of data would be a major win for a wholesale distributor. (Clarification: The store is now accepting custom orders; see the comments section.)

Generally however, given the constraints of the history and uncertainty as to long-term sustainability, I think this concept works, but I don’t know the sales numbers or the overhead costs. At what point have you exhausted customer interest in a limited number of SKUs? The front facings on shelves are very much the antithesis of my own store, which is all about having depth of material on various subjects.

I’ll be the first to admit the balance is probably found somewhere in the middle.

 

 

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  1. Jared
    August 24, 2016 at 8:05 pm

    There is special ordering for customers and churches which helps fill some inventory gaps.

    • August 24, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      I think we all have inventory gaps. I’ve told my customers that if a new store opened tomorrow, and it carried 100,000 SKUs, the first customer through the door would ask for item 100,001.

      I was surprised to learn that, while they were here in Canada, Sam’s Club only carried 5,000 SKUs. If something got added, something got deleted.

      I’m also not suggesting that every single item in the Orono warehouse needs to be in the Kanata store. When you go into the Baker Books retail store in Grand Rapids, you don’t see every single item that Baker prints. If David C. Cook Canada opened a store, it would be impossible for them to carry everything in the database.

      It’s all about retail philosophy, and we can all learn from what each other is doing, which is why I wanted to showcase the store here. (Not to mention it might get some Google hits; as I keep running into people from Ottawa who heard about the Salem closing, but not about the present store opening.)

      Thanks for the clarification.

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