A shopper walking through the main floor of Marshall Field’s flagship department store on Chicago’s State Street will pass a number of branded boutiques, ranging from high-end clothing shops, like BCBG and Max Azria, to one less-expected carve-out: Barbara’s Bookstore. While a decade or more ago, many department stores had in-house book departments, few, if any, indie booksellers—of which Barbara’s is one of the Chicago area’s most beloved—have ever taken up residence in one. But now, as the department store business attempts to reinvigorate itself, more branded storefronts are being invited into large retail centers. Should Barbara’s prove successful on State Street, indie bookshops may just show up all over, wedged between Crate & Barrel and The Gap.
A consummation devoutly to be wished. I love the idea of books being sold everywhere.
If you'll excuse me now, I have rather a lot to do today, and I'm not exactly operating at top speed, so I'd better move on.