Vroman’s Bookstore has weathered a lot of storms since it opened its doors in 1894—including a influenza pandemic back in 1918—but the COVID-19 crisis has proven a tough customer. On Monday, the Colorado Boulevard landmark issued a plea for help via email and social media, asking customers to shop in store (particularly on less-crowded weekday mornings) and online, and to spread the word about their “local indie.”
“Friends, the past few months have been the most difficult in our company’s 126-year history and Vroman’s needs your help to stay open,” the bookstore said.
Besides asking customers to come in (or call in orders for curbside pickup), the store recommended they do their holiday shopping early since printing and shipping delays are expected as December approaches.
The COVID-19 pandemic has been hard on lots of brick-and-mortar businesses, but independent bookstores were already fighting for survival against Amazon and other online mega-retailers. As of 2019, Amazon had 50 percent of the U.S. print book market (not to mention three quarters of ebook sales).
Vroman’s is open every day from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.