Hey, wanna buy a bookstore? Phoenix Books in San Francisco is for sale.
Phoenix Books is a 1,500-square-foot storefront in San Francisco's Noe Valley. The San Francisco Chronicle writes that its "collection of used and new books is well organized, reasonably priced and eclectic, plus somewhat lopsided toward fiction and art books." It also has a strong children's section.
Sounds good. But ... does it come with the stock?
That's up to negotiation, owner Kate Rosenberger says. "It's like selling a house," she explained by phone. During the purchasing process, she expects offers and contingencies.
In addition to the stock, the bookstore has all its shelves, and its fixtures, all of the stuff inside. One thing that is certain to go is Rosenberger's collection of masks. One thing that's up for negotiation: the Zoltar fortune-telling machine.
Rosenberger opened Phoenix Books in 1985. Seven years later, she opened another, Dog Eared Books, then nine years after that, Red Hill Books, then eight years later, Alley Cat Books -- all in the Bay Area. She's keeping three of the stores: It's only Phoenix Books that's up for sale.
"It's a great bookstore, my first bookstore," she says, noting that it's always been profitable. "It's like the oldest kid in the basement -- it's time to move out."
Someone interested in making a serious offer for Phoenix Books will get to see the store's profit and loss statements. The store has a new five-year lease at its current location with a five-year option -- so as long as it finds a buyer, it's not going anywhere.