A local business was in danger of being shut down until this bookstore reached out for help and customers flooded them with 25,000 online orders!
Hashtags can be pretty useful for gathering attention on social media. And in this case, that attention was used to save a beloved shop! In New York, a bookstore reached out on social media, and complete strangers answered their plea in a huge way!
Strand Bookstore is one of New York's oldest bookshops.
When the economy began to sink in the wake of the pandemic, this store was one among many affected. With fewer customers inside the store, they sold fewer and fewer books. This lack of sales became dire. Many businesses have been shuttered for this reason during the pandemic.
In an attempt to turn things around, the business went online for help using the hashtag, #savethestrand. Owner, Nancy Bass Wyden, took to Facebook and Twitter with her hashtag. In her postings, she remarked that the business was "unsustainable."
Bookstore Reached Out For Help And Customers Showed Up
Since 2019, sales for Strand Bookstore dropped by 70%. The pandemic added greatly to this deficit.
Their efforts paid off. People shared the hashtag and went online to place orders and in effect, save the Strand.
According to Nancy, a normal day may consist of 300 online orders. Well, after her posts, by the weekend she had more than 25,000 orders online. And one New Yorker woman ordered 197 books. Talk about support!
Ironically, her website temporarily crashed as a result.
Her 12-year-old daughter stepped up to help her mother package books for online orders.
"How can I not love my book community for helping like this?…I really don't think that we're just a bookstore. I think we're a place of discovery and a community center. When I ask for help and they respond this fast, it's so heartwarming."
Pandemic Leaves Many Businesses In Need Of Help
The pandemic has created unforeseen challenges and Nancy is still trying to cope with and overcome.
"I talked to other bookstore owners and HR people and accountants, and I was just scrambling to find out what this means…There was no - and there is no - end in sight for this pandemic. And we weren't sure who to furlough and who not to furlough. We all thought we'd be back to normal in June," she added.
Out of 217 employees, she furloughed 188. On June 22 she reopened her store and brought back some employees under the Paycheck Protection Program using a loan. However, after she overestimated a sales rebound, she again had to let go of workers.
For now, she will continue to find ways to adjust to support her store and personal income. She has invested in stocks and has made her plea online for help.
Time will tell what happens next for her and the nation. Through God, we know that we can maintain hope no matter what occurs next.
"Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD." Psalm 31:24
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h/t: Washington Post
Featured Image Credit: Getty Images