The staff of Waterloo, Ontario’s Words Worth Books is finding innovative ways to keep its business alive amid a municipal construction that’s putting a damper on foot traffic.
Not even halfway through a more than one year-long bout of municipal construction – the end date of which is still unknown – the bookseller has launched a bike delivery service, opened an alternate backdoor entrance, and thrown an outdoor garden party and sale in collaboration with other local businesses.
“We’re basically just not being shy or proud about asking for help. Customers have been really supportive,” says co-owner Mandy Brouse. “We had a really good Christmas and a really good January, so hopefully we’ll be okay for the rest of the year. We did take a bit of a dip, then let everyone know we needed help, and people came in to support us.”
Brouse anticipates that 2016 will be far harder on the business than 2015, though, as construction last year focused mostly on an adjacent street, while work on King Street – where the store is situated – started this January. Though the construction was projected to end in November of this year, archaeological obstacles like an uncovered corduroy road have led to talks of extending the work.
In the meantime, the store is promoting its online store and gift cards, and its second summer party with Honey Bake Shop takes place July 24–Aug. 8.