Last October, Politics and Prose opened a 2,300-square-foot store at The Wharf in southwest D.C., part of a mile-long waterfront development; the Union Market location, one of several businesses set in renovated warehouses next to an indoor food market, was originally slated to be the store’s first branch, but a fall 2017 opening was postponed by construction delays.
“The Union Market location will be the smallest of our stores; it’s only about 1,000 square feet of merchandising space and connected to it is another space of about 1,000 square feet,” said Graham, who co-owns P&P with his wife, Lissa Muscatine. “That space will be used by day as a conference room for the developer of the project, but in the evenings and weekends, P&P will be able to use it for events.”
This February, P&P also expanded its 34-year-old flagship store on Connecticut Avenue NW into a connecting storefront previously occupied by a dry cleaner, adding about 900 square feet of retail space and 2,500 square feet of office space to its existing 16,000 square feet.
The three stores cover customer bases in three different areas of the city: Union Market is located in the city’s northeast area; the main store is located in northwest D.C.; and the store at The Wharf is located in southwest D.C. Last summer, Graham told Bookselling This Week that the two branch stores would be “small bookstores reflecting the neighborhoods in which they are located,” featuring associated events and carrying a wide variety of books and gifts.
“There’s been a lot of expansion in a relatively short time. So far, The Wharf has worked out very well and the expansion of the main store has worked out well, so we’re optimistic about the prospects of Union Market,” said Graham. “But after this, we’re going to catch our breath and get accustomed to the additional space.”