It seems no business is safe from the hardships, not even our favorite independent bookstore The Strand. Just yesterday, the favorite multi-leveled New York bookstore posted on their social media accounts to, “Shop Local. Buy Early. Think Indie. #SaveTheStrand”
“Our revenue has dropped nearly 70% compared to last year,” said the post. “And the loans and cash reserves that have kept us afloat these past months are depleted.”
What followed in the post was a three-page letter written by third generation owner Nancy Bass Wyden, owner of the 93-year-old bookstore.
“I grew up in the Strand,” the letter begins. “Or at least that’s the way it felt to me. I remember the old floorboards clacking under my Mary Janes, the ghostly grey walls, the magical delight when I found the candy colored books gracing the wooden children’s shelves and the thrill that I could bring home any book I wanted.”
Nancy started helping out in the store, helping her father sharpen pencils for the staff at just the age of six. When she was 16, Nancy began working for her father, doing various different jobs around the store. After a brief break from the store and receiving her MBA from the University of Wisconsin, Nancy returned to The Strand to work for her father. After her father’s passing in January 2018, Nancy became the owner of the famous bookstore.
“We’ve survived just about everything for 93 years – the Great Depression, two World Wars, big box bookstores, e-books and online behemoths. We are the last of the original 48 bookstores still standing from 4th Avenue’s famous Book Row. Because of the impact of Covid – 19, we cannot survive the huge decline in foot-traffic, a near complete loss of tourism, and zero in-store events (compared to 400 events pre-pandemic).”
To help, Nancy suggest spreading the word, sharing the post on your social media accounts with the #savethestrand, along with making purchases from their website www.strandbooks.com , visiting the stores, giving gifts, and encouraging friends to shop locally.