March 20, 2018
Shakespeare & Shakespeare & Shakespeare & Co.
by Michael Moglia
New owners of the iconic Shakespeare & Co. bookselling chain have announced plans to open three stores in the coming year, Judith Rosen writes for Publishers Weekly. The new locations—one in Philadephia, and two in Manhattan—are part of a national expansion plan. While we know a little, fuller plans are being kept quiet for now.
In 2015, former Dean and Deluca CEO Dane Neller—owner of On Demand Books, manufacturer of the Espresso Book Machine—bought the name, and overtook the lease on New York’s last remaining Shakespeare & Co. storefront. At the time, he told Publishers Weekly’s Judith Miller:
“It’s my plan to open multiple Shakespeare stores. I view this as national. Certainly within the next two years, there will be more stores.”
Each of the new stores will be around 3,000 square feet (“our sweet spot,” Neller says), with a café, carefully curated selection of books, and an Espresso, which customers can use to print out on-demand copies of books otherwise not in stock, or to publish their own writing.
Neller says the new stores will be one part of a continuing nationwide expansion. “In five years we’d like to be a large national presence.” Given the hard times bookselling chains have been facing in recent years, and the crucial role that retail chains play in our precarious bookselling ecology, it’d be wonderful if the fledgling chain took off.
Michael Moglia is an intern at Melville House.