Friday, April 18, 2008

Chamblin's Downtown Opens!!!

While your out enjoying Earthday at the Jax Landing this Saturday. Stop by and check out the new Chamblin's Location Downtown.

Chamblin opens new book store downtown
By David Bauerlein, The Times-Union

Big box stores make money by selling in volume.

Chamblin Books does it by selling volumes - books, that is - in volume.

Already the biggest used-book dealer in Northeast Florida, Chamblin has opened a second store in downtown Jacksonville. Owner Ron Chamblin calls it a "soft opening" because he's still stocking shelves in the two-story building at 215 N. Laura St., half a block from Hemming Plaza.
Chamblin's expansion will test both the overall book market and downtown's retail scene.

Borders, a worldwide chain with a mega-store on Jacksonville's Southside, announced last month it will be studying financial options including a sale of the company. On the used-book front, three Jacksonville-area stores have closed in the past year - The Old Book Shop in St. Nicholas, All Booked Up in Arlington and Backwater Books in Orange Park.

Chamblin said he's using the same business model at his downtown store, called Chamblin Uptown, that as he uses at Chamblin BookMine off Roosevelt Boulevard in Ortega. Both stores are loaded with books, rivaling the number at a Barnes & Noble or Books-A-Million. Chamblin BookMine generates about $1.4 million a year in sales.

"It looks to me like there's so much competition out there and so many opportunities to buy books, so really, the advantage we have is we have so much square footage," Chamblin said. "If you have the square footage, that allows you to have the variety. That's where the draw is."
Another similarity between Chamblin BookMine and Chamblin Uptown is Chamblin owns the buildings where each store is located. Chamblin said by being the owner, he doesn't have to worry a landlord will boost leasing rates and put a financial squeeze on the bottom line.

Chamblin's new store will boost Laura Street's retail activity between Hemming Plaza and The Jacksonville Landing, said Terry Lorince, executive director of Downtown Vision, an organization representing downtown property-owners.

She said Chamblin is already well-known so the store should bring people into downtown with the bookstore as their destination. She said Chamblin Uptown will attract customers, too, from people visiting the nearby main library and Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, plus downtown workers on their lunch breaks.

Chamblin said he considered a suburban location closer to the Southside and The Beaches where many of his existing customers live.

That spot would have given Chamblin better geographic balance with stores on both sides of Jacksonville. But he said he thinks downtown is on an upswing and the atmosphere appealed to him.

"I just think it's more fun down here, getting in on the growth," he said. "It's more interesting to me and more challenging to me."

The current hours of Chamblin Uptown are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Chamblin said he expects to expand the hours after the store is fully stocked and its cafe is up and running.

1 comment:

Wordnerdy said...

Oh! It's open! Must go to Actionville soon!