Borders Bookstore closing its doors was further proof of the power of the digital age. With more customers using iPads and Kindles, it became more difficult for printing and publishing companies to find ways to stay profitable. However, one San Francisco bookstore has managed to keep its head above water for several decades.
Pete Mulvihill said that he started working for Green Apple Books part-time after he graduated from college in 1993. Over the years he climbed up through the employment ranks at the bookstore before finally becoming a manager. Then, ten years ago, he and two other employees bought out the owner, Richard Savoy.
“I just loved books and the people who loved books,” Mulvihill said to the Wall Street Journal about why he was interested in book selling. “The challenge is adapting a business for changing times.”
Mulvihill added that Green Apple had implemented the digital aspect through a company Facebook page, a Tumblr blog, a book-of-the-month club and offering an option to buy electronic books. He explained that he still closely watches things like credit card processing fees and keeps an eye out to see what other local bookstores are doing to keep pace with online competitors like Amazon.
Small things like negotiating credit card fees can be greatly beneficial, he told the Journal. Additionally, Green Apple pays attention to what’s popular and makes necessary adjustments. For example, their children’s section has grown from three bookcases to 25 and the company has adjusted the travel section in accordance to how many people are flying.
It is important to not only integrate new and old technologies together, but to ensure that a quality product is still being produced. For companies that rely on physical paper, a laminating machine can create durable and professional pages. Additionally, using binding equipment can ensure that documents stay attached in a polished manner.