'We're open for business' - Tills bookshop sees 'highest turnover ever' after reopening for first time since March

A bookshop near The Meadows is back in business after experiencing its ‘highest turnover ever’ since reopening after lockdown.

By Katharine Hay
Monday, 12th October 2020, 2:49 pm

Tills, in Hope Crescent, shut up shop in March when the coronavirus pandemic hit the UK, forcing businesses across the country to pull their blinds down in a bid to prevent further spread of the virus.

But with some newfound spare time during lockdown, owners Josh and Kate Mcnamara decided to refurbish the bookshop, which they took over in October last year, after its founders Ann Samuel and Richard Till retired from the business.

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Tills bookshop which has recently reopened for business in Hope Park Crescent picture: Josh Mcnamara

Since reopening over the weekend for the first time since March, the couple said sales have been the best they have ever seen since running the place.

“People are clearly keen to buy books at the moment,” Josh said.

“We have seen the highest turnover that we’ve ever had in the last three days.

"I think customers are also just really happy to see somewhere that is open, and of course somewhere selling books which people love to browse and buy."

With PhDs in literature, the Mcnamaras said they enjoy studying what the community around them reads to help them source and stock more bespoke books suited to their customers.

But with growing collections their art and history sections, among others, there’s sure to be a book to suit everyone.

Fortunately during the shop's refurbishment works, the couple created more storage to enable more space for books.

"Regular customers will remember coming in and finding boxes of books piled up around the room,” Josh continued.

"Luckily that has changed now as we have sorted out the building’s basement, and created storage for books that people are bringing in to sell or donate.

"So upstairs now has a lot more room, with new shelves for customers to browse."

Tills boasts several gems among its carefully selected books, including a 1950s locally well-known sci-fi collection.

"We get really interesting offers and donations coming in,” Josh added.

"Lots of books from the 50s and 60s that people were reading when they were at school as part of their reading lists. It’s interesting to see how the reading lists change for different generations.

"We were also recently left an amazing collection in someone’s will which was very special."

Thrilled with the positive response so far, Josh said he is pleased the shop is open for customers to return to and enjoy once again, especially during a time of such uncertainty.

"We have a lot of elderly readers,” he added.

"Sometimes I think, for certain customers, them coming in here is the only chance during the day where they actually have a decent conversation with people, so it's somewhere more than just a place to buy books for some.

"Our philosophy is that we want to be open and need to be open for our community.

"So if we can do it safely and carefully, which we can, then we should be open for business.”

Tills is open seven days a week from 10am until 6pm during weekdays, 10am until 5pm on Saturdays and 12pm until 5pm on Sundays.

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