Maintaining Relationships with Customers Key to the Book Nook
Being a used bookstore, it is important to foster strong relationships with customers. That has been the story for the Book Nook, which has been serving Peorians since 1989. Cheryl Langley, Manager of the store for nearly 7 years, explained the connection they have with their customers. “I think that what sets us apart is that we actually know our customers and what they want, and it’s nice to have a personal touch that you won’t receive from large box stores,” said Langley. A 2nd location opened in Washington IL in July 2018.
Langley also told a story about how a regular customer had been looking for a certain set of books and when they finally had them in stock, she called him and he came by the next day to pick them up. The personal nature of the business has helped it thrive. By being in the same town as Barnes and Noble which handles new inventory, the Book Nook can focus on the back inventory. As Langley pointed out, “Having that relationship helps us immensely and it makes us stronger.”
Of course, as with any business during the past year or so, dealing with Covid-19 has been paramount. However, the Book Nook established a website during the pandemic which Langley described as a “saving grace” due to how it helped offset the limitations Covid-19 caused.
The Book Nook participated in the Illinois Small Business Development Center, Senior Consulting Project (SCP) Program at Bradley University during the Spring 2021 semester. Her team of senior business majors consulted with her and provided her recommendations. Langley has nothing but positive feedback about the experience and said the students did a phenomenal job and even helped them expand the business. By recommending us to hold off until the pandemic had passed, the Book Nook was able to avoid the major pitfalls of the pandemic as previously stated.
With the difficulties that Amazon and newer bookstores can place on smaller bookstores like the Book Nook, it can be hard to even survive, especially with the continued after-effects of the pandemic. However, the Book Nook has not only survived but they are thriving thanks to smart strategies and a loyal consumer base. Whenever you want to visit a physical store to go book shopping, it is hard to do better than the Book Nook.