The Librairie L’Alphabet de Rimouski has seen its turnover increase by 23% since the physical reopening of stores. Customers are back.
“We thought people were more likely to be afraid to come back to the bookstore. We were pleasantly surprised with the response from our customers. We are in the process of making up for the delay that took place during the month and a half that we were closed. We have the wind in our sails, ”said General Manager Guillaume Lamarche during an interview.
Telephone orders and online sales made by the leslibraires.ca site have enabled the bookstore located on rue Saint-Germain Ouest to survive this ordeal.
“It was more than 200 packages per week during confinement. We had two delivery teams to serve our customers. Online sales is a sector that we wanted to develop and we have managed to maintain interesting figures since the reopening. The pandemic had the effect of a dose of steroids, ”he said.
The CEO points out that without the resilience of the employees who have worked hard and adapted, it would have been impossible to get through.
“We lived a very difficult period, we will not hide it, but we have a terrific team,” he said.
Owned by the Société nationale de l’Est du Québec, the L’Alphabet bookstore is located in downtown Rimouski. It has existed since 1979.
“We are the largest bookstore in eastern Quebec. It is a generalist bookstore with about twenty employees. There are no supermarkets that sell books in our sector and we have a somewhat old-fashioned relationship with customers, ”he noted.
Twilight and dawn by Ken Follet, The false life by Elena Ferrante and the book To the plate of Ricardo are the best sellers of the moment.
TV and podcast
The L’Alphabet bookstore received, when possible, authors and contributors from the book world. She wanted to push the thing a little further with a project of broadcasting these meetings. The pandemic made it possible to develop this project.
A partnership has been sealed with community television, NousTV, to broadcast a 30-minute program with authors and people from the book world. A 45- to 60-minute podcast of these encounters will be uploaded to Spotify, YouTube and Facebook on the day of the TV broadcast.
“This is an initiative that fits in well with the new reality we are experiencing and which will allow us to reach our customers in another way,” said Guillaume Lamarche.
This first meeting will take place on November 11 with Richard Saindon who wrote the book History of Rimouski by the name of its streets.
“This new edition of this book was our best seller in July and August. We sold more than 80 copies per month and it exceeded the big Quebec and French sellers, ”said Mr. Lamarche.
The Guillaume’s suggestions
Our interior forests, Julie Dugal, 2020
Spend the winter, Kateri Lemmens, 2020
The world of wrecks in Quebec, Samuel Côté, 2020
The boy with the missing face, Larry Tremblay and Pierre Lecrenier, 2020
The abominable no, Nicole Testa and Annie Boulanger, 2020