At the beginning of August, 47-year-old Green Apple Books, PW's 2014 Bookstore of the Year, will add its second location in 15 years and return to Ninth Avenue in the Sunset District of San Francisco. The decidedly smaller, 2,400 sq. ft. store, about a mile and a half from the flagship location, will be named Green Apple Books on the Park and will be located on the ground floor of what had been Le Video. After a successful Indiegogo campaign in which Le Video raised more than $37,000 to remain viable while shrinking its space, it will move to the 1,500 sq. ft. mezzanine. The two indie businesses plan to work together. Access to Le Video will be through Green Apple.
“We’re humbled to share space with a San Francisco institution and to return to the neighborhood. It’s such a dreamy location,” says Green Apple co-owner Pete Mulvihill. He adds, “We’re excited to create everything from scratch.” When Mulvihill purchased Green Apple with co-workers Kevin Hunsanger and Kevin Ryan in 1999, it was already an established business. Over the past five years, they have “flirted” a few times with opening a second location, but couldn’t find the right space until now. One reason that they want a second store, according to Mulvihill, is that they see so many good books on their used buy counter that they have to turn away.
Because the new store is about one third of the size of the original 7,500 sq. ft. Green Apple, which occupies two buildings, it will have a slightly different inventory. While the flagship store is 85% new and used books and 15% other items, the new store’s inventory will be closer to 90% books, primarily new titles. “We’ll go in humbly,” says Mulvihill, “and see what the neighborhood wants.” He anticipates that food and cooking will be strong at the new location, along with children's and YA, which make up 15% of Green Apple’s new book sales. New books buyer and manager Stephen Sparks, whom Mulvihill calls “one of our stars,” will manage the Ninth Avenue store.
Mulvihill’s goal is to open the new location within two weeks of getting into the space on July 15.