Our Lichfield bookshop will be begin writing a new chapter in its success story on Wednesday, January 16 with a special 10 per cent discount day for shoppers to celebrate a decade in the city.
The bookshop in Market Street, has welcomed an ever-growing queue of eager bookworms since it first opened in January 2009.
Manager Stephanie Hawkins, who has worked at the shop since it opened, said she was delighted to be able to celebrate the landmark birthday with loyal customers.
She said: “The last ten years have flown by so fast, I can hardly believe it. Customers who came in during those early days are still visiting us today. We have regulars who have become friends – we know what they like to read and can point them in the right direction if anything new comes in, and they love to talk and make recommendations to us. It’s a lovely atmosphere.
“Over the years we have built up a loyal local clientele and we’ve welcomed many people from out of the area who have been attracted by Lichfield’s attractions and festivals.”
Stephanie added that many customers were also book donors, and she has been amazed by the gifts they had received through the years.
“We get books on anything and everything,” she added. “We had a book called ‘How to Run a Launderette’ from the 1950s and another called ‘Cabinetmaking and Coffinmaking’ – that sold almost immediately!
“Somebody once gave us an early edition of ‘Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets’ which raised around £600 on our eBay site, and we were also given some early editions of the Winnie the Pooh books which raised £200-300 each.”
Stephanie runs the bookshop with her deputy, Joanna Pembleton, and volunteers. “We get superb support from our volunteers, we really couldn’t do without them,” said Stephanie. “They are devoted to the charity and so helpful and friendly to our customers, who know them and ask about them when they come in the shop. Many of our volunteers have been with us for years and one, Ann Sawyer, joined us in the first month after the shop opened.
“We get such loyalty from our volunteers and our customers. People just don’t forget the exceptional care their families and friends have received at St Giles and it really motivates them to help. It’s a fantastic place to work.”
Lynwen Truesdale, St Giles Head of Retail, said that every sale made at the Lichfield bookshop helped the charity to meet the £9m it needed to raise each year to fund the services it offers to patients, carers and families throughout the region.
She added: “We’d be delighted to hear from anybody who would like to help out at our St Giles Hospice shops in the future as the hospice could not do the work it does without the support of all of the people who give their free time to the charity and help out at its shops.
“Our volunteers say that helping in our shops is a great way to discover new skills, gain work experience and learn how to interact effectively with customers. It’s also a wonderful way to meet people, make new friend and make a real difference in the local community.”