After more than two years popping up all over the city, the owners of Adelaide’s Pop-Up Bookshop are looking out for permanent digs.
Nick Patrick and Kate Treloar announced this week that they have signed on to stay until mid-April in the Rundle Mall location where they set up headquarters for the Christmas period.
Patrick said that while the six-month stay may challenge people’s idea of a “pop-up”, they shouldn’t read too much into the name.
The husband-and-wife owners, who previously ran a fixed-premises bookshop at Stirling for five years, originally launched the pop-up venture selling new and second-hand books to give locals “that little thrill of discovering something new”, he said. And the Rundle Mall location has proven one of the shop’s most successful.
“We’ve found the response really interesting.
“When we set up we physically doubled the number of bookshops on Rundle Mall. There’s basically just us and Dymocks … so people are constantly surprised to come across a bookshop.
“The main part of what we do is try to put books under people’s noses. People still want them and they love coming into book stores and having a bit of a browse.”
Patrick said that the cost of renting the Rundle Mall premises, opposite the Myer Centre, meant that it would not be realistic for the small, “hands-on” store to consider a longer-term tenancy.
However, he and Treloar are looking to find a permanent site in the future and already have their eyes on a couple of high-profile places in the city.
“We knew it had a definite lifespan when we started out. Now the pop-up part of our name is almost hindering us a bit because what we do is more substantial than what people think,” Patrick said.
He said there was often an assumption they don’t pay any rent, are not a “real” bookshop and are supported by council; conversely, the Pop-Up Bookshop found itself at loggerheads with the authority over street-trading permits in its early days.
While he remains a strong supporter of pop-up businesses, Patrick said not having the stability of a permanent shopfront also brought other challenges, including an inability to plan ahead and the added expense associated with marketing each new location.
In addition to its main site, the Pop-Up Bookshop also has displays in a number of cafes around the city and recently launched a Books By Bike service where former bicycle couriers Patrick and Treloar deliver books ordered from their online store to CBD locations.
“It’s a bit of fun,” Patrick said.
“Kate and I both have vintage bikes and live in the city and love trundling around … I certainly wouldn’t be able to say it’s a sideline yet; it’s more a novelty.”
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