The Future of our Coop Book Store

A couple of weeks ago, the People’s Coop Book Store at 1391 Commercial issued a notice stating that they would be going out of business at the end of this month. Founded in 1945, the bookstore moved to Commercial Drive in 1983 and has been an important part of the Drive’s cultural heritage for thirty-five years. To see it close would be a terrible shame.  Last night the Coop held a Special General Meeting to discuss the situation.

The Coop now has more than 800 members and had perhaps its busiest Christmas season ever last month. However, like many small businesses, the Coop has always been short of capital. In the Coop’s case, this has meant a smaller than required operating line of credit leading to problems with ordering books from publishers. And, of course, without new books, a bookstore has less and less to offer.  Recently, the finances have been bought to a crisis position due to some unexpected but unavoidable expenses and this has created a shortage of funds with which to pay the rent, leading to the decision to close.

At the meeting last night there was a definite desire from the members attending to see the store keep operating and enough money was raised at the meeting to pay the rent and operating expenses for February. A few new Board members were added (including me) and we will work hard to set in place a more secure financing plan for the future.

This has always been a co-operative venture rather than a for profit corporation and I hope some of the members who have a little spare cash can come forward with donations to see the Bookstore through this difficult period. If you can assist financially, please contact the store and we’ll make the necessary arrangements.


2 Responses to The Future of our Coop Book Store

  1. Grandview Citizen says:

    What is the value proposition of this bookstore? Does it do anything better than its online competition?

    • jakking says:

      Yes, it provides a community gathering place. It is also a successful venue for book openings, readings and the like; none of this works online.

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