Starting January 2010, Powell's Books in Portland, Ore. will begin construction to add some 10,000 sq. ft. of retail space to its existing flagship location, Powell’s City of Books, and incorporate the 7,000 sq.-ft. of inventory from Powell’s Technical Books, effectively closing the freestanding store, which operates just two blocks from the flagship.
“We don’t see it as closing a store, since we’re incorporating the inventory into our store and it will be given a dedicated room” said Powell’s CEO for strategic development, Miriam Sontz.
The additional retail space will likely be utilized to expand City of Book’s children’s section, which currently occupies some 5,000 sq.-ft. of 75,000 sq.-ft. flagship store.
Sontz said that the store “may decide to add even more retail space, but no decision has been finalized.” Any expansion, which is likely to take the form of adding additional stories to the existing building, will have to be approved by the city.
“We made the announcement so far in advance,” said Sontz, “in part because we wanted to spend 2008 talking to our staff and surrounding community about what they want to add to the store. This is an opportunity for change. Then in 2009, hopefully we can approve the plans and in 2010 start construction.”