Russell Books to consolidate stores, re-locate to former Staples space in Fort Street office tower
Published June 5, 2019
Downtown Victoria’s largest independent bookstore operator will be consolidating its retail spaces into a single operation in the ground floor and underground levels of a Fort Street office tower, Citified has learned.
Russell Books, with three storefronts along the north side of the 700-block of Fort Street and a single space in the 700-block of View Street (known as Books on View, which will remain in operation), is set to occupy the former two-storey 18,000 square foot Staples office supply location in the Rohani Tower at 747 Fort Street immediately south of its existing headquarters at 734 Fort Street.
Ed Adams and Marc Foucher of commercial real-estate brokerage Colliers International, who represented Russell Books during lease negotiations, say signage should appear in the coming days.
The new and used book retailer opened in Victoria in the early 1990’s after founder Reg Russell expanded his operations from Montreal where the original store opened in 1961. Since then the operation grew, and today is managed by multiple members of the Russell family.
The transition is planned for the not-too-distant future. Store closures are expected to be limited while staff transfer items to the new space.
Staples, which opened in the Rohani Building in 2007, remained in the space until 2014. Upon its closure a dollar store retailer had expressed interest in the space, although leasing negotiations failed to land a deal.
Downtown Victoria lost its largest bookstore, Chapters Books, last fall when the company moved its long-time operation on Douglas Street at View Street to the newly expanded Mayfair Shopping Centre. Its former neighbour, Shoppers Drug Mart, has since occupied the Chapters space. C
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