Moving a retail business isn’t easy, but imagine having to move more than 100,000 books. That’s what Russell Books faces this fall as it leaves its 734 Fort Street location to relocate across the street to the former Staples building.
“We had been looking at the Staples space for several years,” says co-owner Andrea Minter, granddaughter of Reg Russell, who opened the original Russell Books in Montreal in 1961. Minter manages the store with husband Jordan and brother Chad DePol.
The new location features escalators for easy access and 6,000 square feet of additional space to accommodate Russell’s growing business.
Minter says the growth is due to the support of the Victoria community, who still love finding that perfect cookbook or bedtime story in a physical bookstore. Another growth opportunity emerged when Chapters moved from downtown to Mayfair last fall. The Russell Books team quickly saw an opportunity to fill the void.
When it comes to Russell’s vision, Minter says the company is in it for the long haul. “It was important to us to have a new space that could last us a long time.”
As to the question of how to move 100,000 books to the new location, Minter laughs and says, “A part of me wanted to get a sports team in here and make an assembly line across the street.”
The move, she says, will take place around the clock for several days and will largely be done using electric pallet jacks to help with lifting.
“We’re so excited,” says Minter, “for the next chapter in our book.”
This article is from the August/September 2019 issue of Douglas.