Iconic Strand bookstore appeals for help in effort to stay open

People walk outside The Strand Bookstore. (Photo by Noam Galai/Getty Images) (Getty Images)

In an emotional personal appeal, the owner of the iconic Strand bookstore admitted that the business is teetering on the edge of disaster due to a massive financial decline caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The Strand’s revenue has dropped nearly 70% compared to last year,” Strand owner Nancy Bass Wyden said in a letter posted to Twitter. "We’ve survived just about everything for 93 years - the Great Depression, two World Wars, big box bookstores, e-books and online behemoths. We are the last of the original 48 bookstores still standing from 4th Avenue’s famous Book Row. Because of the impact of COVID-19, we cannot survive the huge decline in foot traffic, a near-complete loss of tourism, and zero in-store events (compared to 400 events pre-pandemic)."

Wyden said the store had received a loan that had allowed them to survive for the last eight months but is “now at a turning point where our business is unsustainable.”

In her plea, Wyden told those looking to help that they can shop at the store’s website or visit any of its three brick-and-mortar locations, and to encourage others to do the same. 

“I’m going to pull out all the stops to keep sharing our mutual love of the printed word,” Wyden said. “But for the first time in The Strand’s 93-year history, we need to mobilize the community to buy from us so we can keep our doors open until there is a vaccine.”

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