TopShelf Magazine Holiday Edition, 2017 - Page 14

columns ten times larger than your current location. The Saratoga Springs store came at the right time. Ed and Barbara were thinking about retirement and making plans to turn Northshire over to Chris, their son. Opening a new store was the kind of challenge Chris lived for. He recalls it was one of the most memorable times in his career. “It was my baby,” he said. “I designed it. I hired the people.” Atmosphere is an important part of any good retail environment. The staff at the stores take care to add homey touches to the decor. The Manchester Center Store features a breathtaking wrought iron banister rail to the second floor, and a wood burning stove in the cookbook section (where else?). What appears to be a cluttered store in both locations is, in fact, a marvel of effective retailing. Both Northshire Bookstores have become community meeting places. A half-dozen book-related clubs call the two stores home. Customers gather for cooking demonstrations, informational meetings about about the environment, living in New England, and much more. Almost always there is, of course, a book connection. There have been appearances by numerous authors, including John Irving, Steven King, John Grisham, David McCullough, Doris Kerns Goodwin, Rachel Maddow, Jeffery Toobin, and biggest event yet––Neil Gaiman.” Both stores employ a full-time staffer whose sole responsibility is booking authors and speakers, and coordinating events. The secret to attracting authors, said Chris, lies in constant exchanges with publishers, publicists, and other members of the book industry. He adds it is a task that has been made more difficult by publishers cutting back on author tours. Nonetheless, Northshire has packed the house of both stores on many occasions. The events often require that the stores take reservations. Between both stores, Northshire employs 50 people, with another 39 of what Chris refers to as full-time equivalent positions. Their best employees are avid readers, of course, which is reflected in the shelf talkers that adorn both stores. “Shelf talkers are one of the reasons people like independent bookstores,” said Chris. “They are consistently remarked on and appreciated by our customers.” As businesspeople the Morrow family, both Ed and Barbara as well as Chris, have also learned the value of non-book sale ˈ[Y][ۈܝ\Hܙ\˜\H\\Y\\[Y\[\[H[Y\[\]YH][Y[›[ܙKXܙ[\ۋX[\˜X[܈[]\H]Y[ IH[IHو[[\˂][\HX[\و[Y\]ܝ\B^[[\\X\[XH[[BX\[ˈ\\\\\Y[  H[]H\XX[H[X\H]K]\\܈H^\XX[K]œ\X[ۈ\ۙHY][ٙ][[ˈ\\\X\\[]]ܜ˜\[\XXXZ[۝[ [HZBH]\]Hوٙ\[[]^[Bܙ\ٙ\[Z\\Y\\KY[ܜ]YH8'X[[ق[Y\Xx'H\ۙHوHX\H[[ܘ\›وܝ\K][H[\[[YX\\H\Y[H]\XZ[Y][Y\XK]\[[\H]\\Yܝ\H[ ܙ\\H[HX\وH\[۝ۈ\XKH^[YB[x&\H[X[\\[\܈XܛB]H[H[\]H[X]BX\و۝ۋ]8&\\H[x&[[ܝ\HܙK[ܙH\X\][XY^[K]]\H[[[ۜ”\[ܛX[X[HܚY\™X]\[\[][ XX˜X[]Y\Z[\][ۋ[[ܙKZ[ N˛]X]ٚ\XKBM[XY^[H8$˕[[YK