New York City, three months later
It was busy on the mezzanine. Several owners of retail stores around Books&More asked Josh to meet and explain what had happened in his store during the past few months. Josh’s colleagues had noticed that the traffic in the bookstore had increased dramatically and some of the events brought more excitement to the whole street. The last cooking event even made the New York Times!
Josh started the meeting by sharing what he had experienced in London. He explained he had a hard time when he got back to his own store and had an informal brainstorm with the entire team. He told them about how everyone responded after having experienced one of the Bread&Care stores.
Martin could tell that the other retailers didn’t all get what Josh was sharing, which he understood. After all, prior to the meetings with the team, the bookstore had been just a bookstore. It had suffered similar challenges to the other stores, with less traffic and less vibe. “Perhaps we could help you out with a pizza and brainstorm session for your teams as well,” Martin said. Josh figured that was a great idea. Bryan and Mildred, who owned an antique store, asked if Josh and Martin could start with their team. They had been thinking of turning their store into a more contemporary lifestyle concept, but lacked the confidence that this would be financially viable.
“I had no idea you had these plans,” Josh replied. “We would love to help!” Martin nodded in agreement and suggested starting the week after. Martin and Josh knew that Bryan and Mildred could use a little extra help. These past few years the store had just about broken even, which left little room for investment. Banks were not really keen on helping out either. However, if their team could be ignited like Josh and Martin’s team was, great things could happen, Martin was thinking.
Donna, who owned a florist, and Linda, who had just opened a hair salon, asked if they could be next. “It would be great if we could have the same inspirational experience like you had in London,” Jake said. Jake ran a bodega a few blocks from Books&More and was a very pragmatic learner. He preferred to experience things for himself.
Then Josh suggested that his fellow store owners should also experience one of the Bread&Care stores in New York. He quickly checked on his mobile phone, and said a few seconds later, “Guys, there is a Bread&Care at Washington Square. We could meet there next week, and experience what happens.”
“Should be fun,” Jake said. “I am always up for a good meal and a good drink.” “Sounds like you turned a hobby into your profession,” Marcia said jokingly. “Yeah, or vice versa,” Jake replied with a big smile.
“Hope they also serve good wines. I’d love a nice Prosecco,” Donna added.
They agreed to meet the same evening, a week later at the Bread&Care restaurant at Washington Square. Before they said their goodbyes, Mildred had an idea. She asked if Josh would be open to the idea of promoting some of their merchandise in Books&More. In return, they could feature books on interior design in their store.
Bryan mentioned they could arrange some chairs and decoration for the Coffee&More section on the mezzanine. “We could decorate the space, in line with the four seasons, if you like,” Mildred added. Josh loved the idea. “We could create a shop-in-shop concept with each other, without any extra cost.” The inspiration has already started, Josh thought. He didn’t expect they would also benefit so much by sharing experiences and inspiration.