Bookworms in Colorado Springs will have a new spot to check out the latest titles next year when Tattered Cover Book Store opens a new location downtown.
The new bookstore will inhabit an 8,000-square-foot space at 112 N. Tejon St. and include a cafe, kids zone and more, the company announced this week. The location, which is expected to open in early 2022, marks its first outside of the Denver region and seventh overall following a new store in Westminster that’s expected to open this fall.
CEO Kwame Spearman said in a statement Tattered Cover hoped to fill the gap left by Chinook Bookshop, an independent bookstore in the Springs that closed in 2004.
“Colorado Springs has always been a vibrant community that’s filled with book lovers,” Spearman said. “We are setting up shop in a beautiful building that was erected in the 1880s and has been preserved over the years, but recently brought back to life. This is exactly what we’re trying to do for our brand, making it a perfect spot for our first location in Southern Colorado.”
The expansion comes on the heels of a change in ownership and during Tattered Cover’s 50th year in business. In December, the chain was sold to local investors after its rockiest year in memory. At the time, Spearman, newly in his role as CEO, acknowledged that “the notion of buying a bookstore in the middle of a pandemic was just about the craziest thing I had ever heard.”
Since then, Tattered Cover opened a new flagship location on McGregor Square in Denver, near the Colorado Rockies’ ballpark. It also recently debuted a pop-up shop at Park Meadows Mall in Lone Tree that will be open through the holiday season.
Speaking by phone Tuesday, Spearman said expansion is being driven not by sales or the desirability of physical books, but by the bookstore’s ability to curate experiences for its customers and Coloradans’ penchant for supporting local businesses. He said the company is able to track peaks and dips in revenue with trends in COVID-19.
“Without being an economist or expert, it makes sense. We have reasonable, well-informed, smart customers who are in tune with what’s happening,” Spearman said. “If there’s concern about higher COVID rates, break-through cases and delta, that’s going to affect foot traffic negatively.”
Still, that won’t stop Tattered Cover from continuing to expand in 2022, Spearman said, declining to offer insight to which other cities the company may be eyeing.
“When you walk into our stores and experience our brand there’s a power of the physical book — everything from the smell of that book to the ability to find the perfect book to the type of engagement that happens around books, like the desire to learn from one another,” he said. “If we can create a community space in which people are coming together to discuss the topic of the day, share diverse opinions and celebrate things that are local, there’s a successful model there.”
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