When she opened an independent bookstore in May 2012, Tina Ferguson, owner of Face In A Book, wrote on her website that she was called everything from courageous to crazy to enter a sector where even the giant Borders Group had failed.
Now, canny seems more apt.
Ferguson told me that sales have been up an average of 30 percent over last year, ever since she unveiled a store expansion on Mother’s Day weekend. Her El Dorado Hills store now has 1,800 square feet of space, up from from 1,100 when she opened at 4359 Town Center Blvd. in El Dorado Town Center.
“Our children’s sections have expanded quite a bit because (kids) are voracious readers,” she said.She installed lower cabinets for storage and for a place to sit, and “it’s really opened this space up quite a bit.”
From the beginning, Ferguson elected to sell not only books but also plenty of gift items. The reason, she noted, is because statistics show women make up 80 percent of shoppers in bookstores and also do most of the gift shopping in their households. Ferguson told me that she is soon heading to a sales expo in Las Vegas to order gifts for the coming holiday season.
“Every square inch has to be used to sell stuff. We have no space for storage,” Ferguson said, explaining that she stores excess inventory at her home. “It’s hard when we’re getting ready for the holidays, but I don’t live far from the store.”