The Big Green Bookshop is appealing to 1,000 of its loyal customers to help secure its future by buying one book each.
Owners Simon Key and Tim West of the indie in Wood Green, North London, have also set up an online donation facility on the shop's website http://woodgreenbookshop.blogspot.com to help the push to pay off a burdening loan they used to start the store.
The retailer, which grew from the ashes of the closed Wood Green Waterstone's branch, celebrates its third anniversary on 8th March and Key and West are calling on everyone on the indie's loyalty card scheme—over 1,000 people—to each buy a book in the week 6-12th March.
Customers were told in a newsletter that they could make a purchase over the phone or online if they were unable to make it into the shop during the week.
Key told The Bookseller the newsletter was one of the most "terrifying" he had ever had to write. "If everyone on our loyalty card scheme bought one extra book during that week we would be stable—without the loan we are a viable bookshop. We have had a difficult nine months and we can not have another nine like the last so we wanted to raise our plight before things got terminal. But we don't know how it will go down."
Key and West used to manage the Wood Green Waterstone's bookshop before it closed with nine days' warning in 2008.
After public "outcry" at lack of a bookshop in the area, the pair decided to open their own store with redundancy money and a "large loan" from the bank. This loan is the store's "biggest single outgoing" each month and the owners have nine months to pay it off.
The bookshop holds regular community events such as author readings, musical events, knitting groups, poetry readings and children's story-tellings and is also calling on its customers to join a special committee to gauge public feedback on how they could improve.
The committee meeting, for all those who want to get involved, is Sunday [27th February] at 11am.