After a successful three decade run, Nancy Olson, owner of Raleigh’s Quail Ridge Books & Music, is selling her bookstore. Looking to retire, travel, and focus on her family, Olson, 71, intends to remain the store’s number one customer. Her goal in selling the store is to pass the reins over to someone who believes in the power of books, and being the gatekeeper for them, as much as she does.
Quail Ridge Books has been a staple in the Raleigh community for 28 years, and served as the home for many celebrated North Carolina author signings from Lee Smith and Charles Frazier to David Sedaris. Publisher’s Weekly named it Bookseller of the Year in 2001. At 9,400 sq. ft., Quail Ridge stocks about 70,000 titles, has a loyalty program with 17,500 names and generated revenue of about $3 million in 2011. With 24 full-time and part-time employees, the store showcases hundreds of events per year including author appearances, children's storytelling hours, book fairs, monthly forums for teachers and librarians, and book club meetings.
Olson is offering to serve in an advisory capacity to a new owner and has set no deadline to sell the store since finding the right the buyer is vital to her. As she said in a press release today, “The key ingredients are all in place: a loyal customer base, a dedicated, hard-working staff and a stellar reputation with the publishing community.”
The Bookstore Training Group of Paz & Associates is handling the sale.