Phoenix Books Takes to the Road

There is a brand new van parked in front of Phoenix Books Essex, and it is all decked out in colorful decals identifying it as the property of Phoenix Books. Why, one wonders, after opening a brand new store in Rutland in September of 2015 and acquiring Phoenix Books Misty Valley in Chester in May of 2016, did owner Mike DeSanto decide to buy a Ford Transit Connect in August?

"Because there is an untapped market for increased sales to off-site customers and we need a vehicle to get the books to those customers - and those customers need to know who is bringing them their books!" says DeSanto.

The staff at Phoenix Books feels there is potential to compete in school book fairs, business to business relationships, off-site author events, supporting authors at their speaking engagements and creating mobile bookstores for large community events. The van will allow Phoenix to do this in the market areas served by all four locations - Chittenden County and the areas surrounding Rutland and Chester - and the store is exploring the possibility of a delivery service, too.

Two years ago, Phoenix Books brought 80 cartons of books for sale at the Vermont Flower Show held at the Champlain Fairgrounds in Essex Junction, Vermont. The business also brought portable point-of-sales equipment, displays, portable bookcases and numerous booksellers to assist with the endeavor of three days. Booksellers had to cobble together a rag tag fleet of vehicles to move all that to the site and back again afterwards. Instead of private vehicles or renting a van, Phoenix now has a company-owned vehicle to handle all the transport issues.

"We believe there are many other opportunities like the garden show. And we have some amazing staff right now, so this off-site program will allow folks a chance to expand their horizons and bring in new business for Phoenix Books in a way they may not have thought about before," said DeSanto.

Phoenix Books can now offer to deliver an endlessly varied mobile book store experience to any customer or group interested in adding books into their program. The van also serves as a highly visible, eye-catching mobile billboard and advertisement, a not insignificant value added part of the equation.