The future Phoenix Books Essex location
Phoenix Books Essex — the flagship retailer of the Vermont bookstore company — is moving, a little. In mid-July, the store will move to 2 Carmichael Street, around the corner from its current location at 21 Essex Way.
The Essex store is one of a handful owned by Michael DeSanto and Renee Reiner — in Rutland, Burlington and Chester (Phoenix Books Misty Valley). They're also new co-owners of Vermont's oldest independent bookstore, the Yankee Bookshop in Woodstock.
DeSanto says the Essex store needed more space for retail, offices, shipping and receiving, and storage. And it's not the only branch of the business that's growing. DeSanto says the Burlington bookstore, opened in 2012 on Bank Street, has grown 50 percent over the past five years, "and the Yankee has been posting monthly gains since we purchased it [in February]."
The Essex store, with 3,250 square feet of space, opened in 2007 (following a run as owners of the Book Rack and Children's Pages in the Champlain Mill in Winooski). The new venue has 4,450 square feet. All current Essex employees will move with the store.
An announcement posted on the company's website says, "The additional space will also allow Phoenix Books Essex to increase inventory, expand bargain book offerings, explore the possibility of selling used books and better serve the community through partnerships with schools, offsite events
and other local organizations."
DeSanto says those changes are a part of the company "trying to reinvent [itself] a bit after 10 years. We may look at more remainder and sale books, and maybe even vinyl records. "
The owners' lease on the current Essex space expires in September. Early that month, DeSanto adds, the store will have a "very grand re-opening and 10-year anniversary party for all of our loyal customers to enjoy the new space."