Travel specialist Stanfords has smashed its £120,000 fundraising target to secure its future until at least spring 2021 after a deluge of donors came forward.
The Covent Garden store appealed for help through the Mayor of London's Pay It Forward scheme at the end of October after the collapse in travel and dwindling central London footfall saw sales plummet. Viven Godfrey, c.e.o. of Edward Stanford Group Limited, had warned the future of the shop, which has had a presence in London since 1853, was in "grave danger".
By the morning of 18th November, however, the fundraiser has surged ahead of its target meaning its immediate future is secure.
Godfrey told The Bookseller she was “very happy” to have hit the figure so quickly. Alongside thanking all the donors, she said: “We have been very fortunate to have had four donations of £1,000 since we launched and one is from the Book Trade Charity. We've had articles in many newspapers including the Guardian, Telegraph, Evening Standard, Sunday Times and the Times.
“Several publishers have been very supportive in spreading our message. In particular Bradt Guides and Cicerone Press whose titles we love and sell lots of at Stanfords have been very good at sharing our story about the crowdfunding campaign.”
The store has now set a new fundraising target of £160,000 and aims to spend the extra money on continuing the digitisation of its large map archive which dates back to 1853. It will also make improvements to its website and invest in equipment enabling staff to host virtual events.