In the fall of 2005, Davis-Kidd Booksellers in Nashville, Tenn., will move from its 24,000-sq.-ft. space in the Grace's Plaza shopping center to a 32,000-sq.-ft. location nearby in the Mall at Green Hills.
The new location will be the fourth for the store since its founding in 1980 by Thelma Kidd and Karen Davis. The Grace's Plaza store opened in 1988. In 1997, Davis and Kidd sold their stores—in Nashville, Memphis, and Jackson, Tenn.—to Joseph-Beth founder Neil Van Uum, PW's 1996 Bookseller of the Year.
While the Green Hills store will be smaller than Joseph-Beth's 40,000-sq.-ft. flagship store in Lexington, Ky., Davis-Kidd general manager Tony Mize told PW that it will be one of the largest among the six stores in the Joseph-Beth Group. The design of the new site, which is a part of the mall to be expanded, will closely resemble, in atmosphere and layout, the two-floor Grace's Plaza store and cafe. Elements will include an elegant central stairway, like the one it currently has, as well as a warmly inviting overall color scheme. The relocated store will house expanded children's and music areas and provide more space for reading and events.
The renovation of the Grace's Plaza store last October anticipated the store's move, Mize noted. "Neil was already working with Green Hills. We knew we had to finally replace the carpeting Thelma and Karen opened the store with, but while we were doing that, we wanted to try different colors and arrangements in various sections to make the store more comfortable for our customers. In fact, we saw it as a first run for the new store."
Mize credits the store's revised look, additional shelving for books, more concentrated sideline areas and greater user-friendliness throughout with producing "a very good Christmas."
The more inviting look throughout the store has increased traffic in all areas and sales in most, he added, saying, "We were very busy last weekend and feel embraced by Nashville again." This might be an allusion to the impact of a Borders that opened two years ago a few miles away, near the Vanderbilt campus. "Happily, the announcement of our move to Green Hills seems to have added to customer excitement."
The move will be a return to the Green Hills mall, where the store was located (in an 11,500-sq.-ft. space) before its move to Grace's Plaza. "Actually, I've been looking for a larger site ever since we bought Davis-Kidd, and two earlier deals we were working on with the mall fell though when it changed landlords," said Van Uum. "We are landlocked in Grace's Plaza, and relocation to a larger site was necessary in order to grow store sales significantly." But the new Green Hills store, he promises, "will be spectacular."