A new children’s bookshop in Mirfield, West Yorkshire, will open this weekend (13th April), stocking books for children aged 0 to teen.
Leanne Yeomans, who is opening Through the Wardrobe Books with her sister Samantha Ward, said she took the opportunity to open the shop when a retail unit came up for rent. “It’s a really small shop in a building I’ve had my eye on for years,” she told The Bookseller. “It really suits being a bookshop. It’s a bit off the high street but has so much character and we’ve made it as magical as we can so it’s like being transported to another world.”
The 3m x 7m shop will stock titles ranging from baby books to YA and will open with an Easter display featuring books from Penguin Random House’s Peter Rabbit range and Usborne’s Poppy and Sam titles. The owners are also planning to feature C S Lewis prominently given the name of the shop, which was inspired by The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.
The “vast majority” of the stock will be new but Yeomans may look at selling first-edition copies of classic or out-of-print titles, she said.
They are also planning on running reading sessions and author signings, and will run a loyalty scheme, with customers receiving £5 off a purchase once they have collected 10 £5 stamps.
“In the current market it is hard for indies to compete with online sellers or big chains but when it comes to children’s books people are willing to spend more money and spend more time browning,” said Yeomans. “They want to feel the physical book and talk to bookseller. Lots of people want advice on what to buy.
“There are no chains on our high street but we have quite a big population who are proud of our shops and want to support local businesses.”
The shop opening comes after a PwC report found a record number of shops closed in Britain last year with 16 stores closing a day, but bookshops are bucking the trend.
Earlier this year, the Booksellers Association reported a second year of growth in its independent bookshop membership, with 15 new shops joining the trade body in 2018.