Happy New Year!
Coming out of the wild, unpredictable year of 2020, we are full of gratitude for the consistent, big-hearted support we saw from our community. We are here in 2021 because you were there for us in 2020, and we do not take that for granted.
Heading into the new year, we thought we’d pull back the curtain a bit and share some of what we’re working on here at Book Revue. We have big plans for 2021. Thanks to your support, our booksellers are embarking upon many projects to strengthen what you love about our bookstore and to better position it for the future and whatever may come next.
Here are a few of the projects Book Revue is working on this year. This work is what you are supporting when you choose to shop with us.
Updating our tech systems.
For many, many years, our inventory and cash register systems have run on the same equipment. You’ve likely noticed the older monitors at check-out. These machines have served us well! However, the hardware we use has become obsolete and we must retire and replace many of our computers. At the same time, we are evaluating our systems for overall efficiency and for cooperation with our new online business, so that we can make further improvements down the road. Our goal is to one day, sooner rather than later, make our discounted books available for sale on our website. We need the right equipment and systems to do this.
Increasing wages for staff.
In New York State, as many of you may know, minimum wage is rising $1 each year. As of this month, minimum wage is now $14 an hour on Long Island. We have been happy to give all of our booksellers a raise, whether they were making minimum wage or above. Our booksellers are the heart and soul of the bookstore. As we grow, compensation for our staff must grow with us. We are actively planning for new initiatives and sources of revenue to make that possible.
Inventory updates and section refreshes.
While we were closed last year, we took advantage of the empty store to pull old inventory, move sections for easier shopping, and update displays to help you better discover the books we’re excited about. (You may have seen our brand new Pride Corner, for example.) This year, the work continues. We are evaluating our inventory section by section, ensuring that we have the best possible selection of books and that our selection reflects everyone who is writing and publishing today. We will also continue to move sections and consider our layout with the goal of creating the most comfortable and pleasant browsing experience possible.
New author event programs.
While in-store events are still not possible, we continue to develop our virtual events program. We are currently working on a brand news series we cannot wait to launch, that will feature award-winning, nationally-renowned authors in conversation about the deep divisions in our nation and how books and art might bridge our differences. We are also working on adding new book clubs to our roster. We are full of ideas for fun new ways to connect you with books and authors on our social media platforms. We’re also working on new monthly book subscription programs - stay tuned!
Developing our website for your use and convenience.
We launched our brand new website last year the day after lockdown shut our doors. For the first time ever, Book Revue was selling books online! Now, with ten months’ experience under our belt, we are working on offering more of what we have in the store available for sale on the site, including gifts and puzzles, and working to make the site easier to navigate. And, as mentioned above, our big goal for the site is to make it possible for you to shop our discounted inventory online.
This is only a snapshot of what’s to come this year. Our booksellers are busy this month working out the details of a plan for 2021 that will take us through these projects and many more. We are so excited for what’s in store!
Thank you for making the decision to shop with Book Revue. We are committed to being the best possible community bookstore for you, to remain flexible and innovative, and to continue to bring you great books. Your support makes it all possible.
Cheers to the new year!