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Drake The Bookshop, Stockton-on-tees, County Durham

Drake The Bookshop

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27 Silver Street
Stockton-on-tees
County Durham
TS181SX

Telephone: 01642909970

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Best Small Shops competition 2020

What makes you the UK's Best Small Shop

We have been proud to call ourselves a community hub for five years now. We have 6 book groups, a weekly knit & natter & storytimes as regular features.

We have been named best Independent Bookshop for the North of England 2 of the last 3 years.

We have a fully transactional website, rebuilt in lockdown to allow people to support the high street online.

During lockdown we worked with 2 local charities & gave away books to children as part of their foodbank parcels.

There are loyalty card schemes for adults & children, & book groups and schools receive discounts for bulk purchases.

We are both active members of the Booksellers' Association & Mel is on the Green Bookselling working party.

We invented the Great North Author Tour in 2018 and have so far brought over 20 authors to 6 north east bookshops and over 1500 pupils

We run a Looked After Children Christmas Gift project with the council

What innovations did you initiate to combat the impact of COVID-19

Throughout lockdown whilst still keeping in touch on social media, we improved the website. All linked, this still generates a regular income from book lovers UK wide.

Our Lockdown Pharmacy Reading Remedy offered book prescriptions to cure the people's reading ails with Lockdown Pharmacy Bear as a mascot. A prescription could be requested & a book chosen, wrapped & delivered. This brought smiles, books to doors, & a new sector of customers; people who want to actively support our community.

Alongside this was our DEAR SEPTEMBER SELF letter helping people focus on positives during lockdown.

Before reopening we reconfigured to allow people to browse & keep safe. Screens & regular sanitising points are in place with 2 counters to keep staff safe.

Tell us how you engage with the local community

We formed Totally Locally Stockton helping around 45 businesses engage with local press & community promoting the independent high street. Next step is an online presence for the high street. We also worked on a Heroes of the High Street project with Stockton BID.

A local funeral directors asked us to supply Charlie Mackesy's book, The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, The Horse to use in a bereavement package. Proud to support we supplied books at cost. Around 200 grieving families have something special to help the process.

Our events program saw 250 people join Giovanna Fletcher in a local theatre in March & around 450 join Chris & Rosie Ramsey online in September.

We provided over 1100 children, many of them from the poorest wards in the country, with a World Book Day book alongside the NLT.

We support local authors & have helped to set up a Teesside local website

How to find us

Directions to this business

-1.31189 54.565