John Evans and Alison Reid have been through it all together. The owners of DIESEL Bookstore in Del Mar have been selling books since the 1970s. Although this recession is different from those in the past, Evans said they’ll overcome it by focusing on the positives.
“DIESEL is a bookstore that thinks it can, and keeps chugging along,” said Evans, who opened the Del Mar location in November 2019. “It really has to do with human behavior — will people choose to support their community businesses or not? It’s that simple.”
Evans and his wife, who own two other bookstores in Los Angeles County, said they lost about 80% of their business following the stay-at-home order. Although retail stores are allowed to open, they closed their bookstores for browsing.
In an attempt to make up for the losses, Evans said they’ve been relying on online orders.
“We have steadily been taking orders for shipping and for pickup since mid-March,” Evans said. “The support has been wonderful, but obviously an 80% decline in business makes it hard to go on.”
What will see them through the recession is the members of the public who choose to buy from local businesses rather than big retailers, Evans said.
“If we all support local, independent businesses, then we will continue to have them,” Evans said. “If we don’t, for whatever reasons we choose, we will find ourselves a year from now without independent businesses to go to, including bookstores. We will regret that.”
Evans said it’s more so important to support local bookstores because of the cutbacks to libraries and schools.
“Bookstores are a particularly great loss for neighborhoods and communities,” Evans said. “We need to work together to create the kinds of lives and communities we want to have.”
For more information about DIESEL Bookstore, go to dieselbookstore.com.
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