Des Livres et vous is a bookshop in the rural area of Gourdon, Lot, taken over by Frédéric LANDES to maintain the cultural offer available within the region.
Double objective: a professional change and the reopening of the bookshop in his town
A former technical agent in a commune close to Gourdon, Frédéric had been thinking about changing his line of work for a few years, having originally trained in cultural tourism. Passionate about literature and art, he found out at the beginning of the lockdown in 2020 that the bookshop in his small town might close. “When I was made aware of the potential sale of the bookshop, I decided to make the professional change I had been considering.” The driving force behind the idea? To ensure that the cultural offer available in the Lot department did not disappear and to turn his passion into his work. “There are 6 bookshops in total in the department. After Gourdon, the nearest similar offer is in Sarlat: There would have been nothing much available close to the town if the bookshop had disappeared.” Things are moving forward quickly and Frédéric enrolled in the Ecole de Librairie in Montreuil to train before buying the business and making the take-over official on 1 October 2020.
Books, but that’s not all
Frédéric’s first development plan is to expand the bookshop’s offer and structure it. “ We wanted to transform the business into a real bookshop, not just a shop with books and stationery.” The structure also seeks consistency. ” The goal of the first year is to take stock and work on all the various departments: literature, youth, local, stationery, science fiction, cartoons… I employed someone part-time to secure the activity, someone who was also trying to make some changes to their life. People are happy with the new editorial proposal .” Then there is the desire to bring about at change in terms of how books are perceived in the Lot department. ” There is no cultural offer in the immediate area, we are the only ones. We want to connect with other players in the department to create a new dynamic.” This desire is manifested through a Lot-wide association that aims to promote books across the department, to run events together, to encourage visits to other outlets and organise literary tours.
France Active Occitanie accompanies them in their purchase and operations, securing the loan with a guarantee and day-to-day technical support to restart the business as well as to frame objectives in the short and long term. “They even found me a complementary support contribution with FAPE EDF without asking for anything!” states Frédéric. The health crisis has brought a lot of tumult in its wake but has not undermined the adventures of Des Livres et vous. “We had a normal October month when we reopened the business. Lockdown in November complicated thing, but the regular customers were loyal and ordered via placedeslibraires.fr. We even increased our customer portfolio – proof that culture is still valued in rural areas – and we had a very good month in December, surprisingly. The strong national mobilisation around bookshops helped us withstand the shock as well.” And in terms of organising events: ” for the rest, we’re pretty serene. Small businesses, whether cultural or not, definitely have a future. We will continue to extend the offer on our shelves and as soon as possible we’ll be holding activities and events to bring culture to life in our region.”
Was accompanied by
France Active MPA-Occitanie
Was supported by