August 27, 2020 (Portland, OR) – Powell's Books Commits to a Future Without Amazon Marketplace
As the community of bookstores in the U.S. prepares for the rescheduled celebration of Independent Bookstore Day on August 29, 2020, Powell’s Books has committed to its customers, its community, and fellow bookstores to operate its business in the future without relying on Amazon marketplace as a sales channel for the company.
In a community update, Powell’s Books CEO Emily Powell wrote: “For too long, we have watched the detrimental impact of Amazon’s business on our communities and the independent bookselling world. We understand that in many communities, Amazon — and big box retail chains — have become the only option. And yet when it comes to our local community and the community of independent bookstores around the U.S., we must take a stand. The vitality of our neighbors and neighborhoods depends on the ability of local businesses to thrive. We will not participate in undermining that vitality.”
This was not an easy decision to make. The Amazon third-party marketplace provides a critical source of revenue for many small and independent businesses, especially in economically difficult times. While it is challenging to step away at this time, Powell’s is confident that this change is ultimately in the company’s interest, and in the interest of the community of book lovers it serves.
August 18, 2020 (Portland, OR) – Powell's City of Books to Partially Reopen August 21
Starting Friday, August 21, Powell’s City of Books will reopen on a limited basis, with the southeast quadrant of the building, commonly known as the Green and Blue rooms, available for in-person shopping from 12 p.m.-6 p.m., Wednesday-Sunday. Customers will have access to select new arrivals, bestsellers, used books, small press titles, and gift items, along with our beloved literature section in full. This announcement comes just weeks after the company reopened its Cedar Hills Crossing store location in Beaverton, OR.
In a community update, Powell’s Books CEO Emily Powell wrote: "Thank you for coming out to find your summer reading at our recently reopened Cedar Hills store. Seeing you and the enthusiasm we all share for books and reading has been a true joy for our book-loving hearts. We are delighted to announce that we are going to try a limited opening of the Green and Blue rooms of our downtown store.”
The store is following all local and federal guidelines regarding reopening and is taking precautions to safeguard the health and safety of customers and staff. Free store pickup will continue to be available at all Powell's locations.
For more information, visit the Powell’s City of Books Page.
All Powell’s Books stores closed in mid-March when the first cases of COVID-19 presented in Portland. Powell’s does not have plans to reopen any other locations at this time.
August 3, 2020 (Portland, OR) – Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing Reopens August 7
Starting Friday, August 7, Powell's Books at Cedar Hills Crossing reopens with limited store hours: 12 p.m.-6.pm., Wednesday-Sunday. Powell’s Books CEO Emily Powell explains the rationale behind the reopening: "We believe we can open the store while keeping employees and customers safe. We also believe our Cedar Hills store has the best chance of covering its expenses, and meeting the critical goal of bringing in additional revenue to support Powell’s operations." Through the careful opening of one location, Powell’s is excited to welcome back book lovers while keeping safety as the top priority.
The store is following all local and federal guidelines regarding reopening and is taking precautions to safeguard the health and safety of customers and staff. Free store pickup will continue to be available at all Powell's locations, including Cedar Hills.
With 32,500 square feet of retail space, the west side location at Cedar Hills Crossing provides an expansive setting for customers to explore over half a million used, new, and hard-to-find books across every category and genre. The store also stocks an impressive selection of board games and gift items. For more information, visit Powell’s Cedar Hills Crossing page.
All Powell’s Books stores have been closed since mid-March when the first cases of COVID-19 presented in Portland. Since that time, the company has operated exclusively through its e-commerce platform Powells.com. Powell’s does not have plans to reopen any other locations at this time.
July 7, 2020 (Portland, OR) – Powell's Books Extends Partnerships With Local Nonprofits
Over the past six weeks, Powell’s Books has partnered with five local nonprofits to offer once-in-a lifetime private shopping sprees in its flagship store as prizes to encourage donations and support. The community has come together to make the fundraising collaborations a resounding success, with over $66,000 raised thus far for Street Books, Street Roots, SMART, Oregon Food Bank, and Rose Haven Day Shelter. Street Books says of the program: “Street Books benefited mightily from the partnership with Powell’s Books. We received more than $18K in donations, which was a real boon to our small nonprofit. Even better, we made contacts with really stellar folks who wanted to donate their used books to us.”
The partnership program has been so successful that Powell’s will be extending it to support additional nonprofits providing essential frontline support for the local community over the coming months.
Each nonprofit organization establishes its own program and rules for entry, and details are shared on Powells.com and on Powell’s social media. Each shopping spree package includes a $200 Powell’s gift card and two hours of exclusive access to the otherwise closed store for one lucky winner. Powell’s is currently only open to the public online at Powells.com and through free store pickup at the Burnside, Cedar Hills, and Hawthorne locations.
For more information, and to support Cascade AIDS Project, Powell’s current nonprofit partner, go to www.powells.com/featured/communitypartnerships.
For a list of life-changing reads that provide necessary context for understanding the social and economic problems our partner organizations are working hard to solve, visit the Powell’s blog: https://www.powells.com/post/lists/these-books-might-change-your-life.
If you would like to nominate a nonprofit for a future Powell's shopping spree partnership, you can do so by emailing [email protected] Nonprofits must meet the following criteria:
1. Current 501C3 (Registered Nonprofit) status
2. Headquartered in and serving Portland/OR or Clark County, WA
3. Capable of running a contest through their online fundraising platform