Shop Early for the Holidays

Three months ago, when P&P’s doors reopened to customer foot traffic, we weren’t sure what the response would be. Would shoppers feel safe enough to venture back in, or would many stay away until the pandemic eased?

We’re happy to report that quite a few of you have returned to shop in person, and as a result, P&P has been better able to weather the challenges many small retail businesses have experienced trying to survive the covid-19 crisis.

Now we’re asking for your continued support and patronage in the crucial months ahead, which include a holiday shopping season when P&P must adapt in ways it’s never had to before. Committed as we are to following public health guidelines to ensure the health and safety of our customers and staff, we won’t be able to accommodate the crowds that typically fill the store between Thanksgiving and Christmas Day. This unfortunately could reduce the normally large volume of holiday sales so critical to our bottom line. What then to do?

First, we’re encouraging all of you to do your holiday shopping early. The sooner you get your gift buying done, the less chance there’ll be of overcrowding later in the season. Also, early shopping is particularly important this year because of expected high demand for popular titles and increased potential for supply chain disruptions and delayed inventory shipments. To help spur holiday shopping now, the American Booksellers Association has launched a campaign featuring the motto “October is the New December.” Please take that to heart.

Second, we’re expanding the shopping space at our flagship location on Connecticut Avenue NW by moving merchandise into the coffeehouse downstairs. There you’ll find boxed holiday cards, calendars, and other popular gift items for the holidays. Using the coffeehouse in this way will, we hope, alleviate potential crowding in other parts of the bookstore.

Third, we’re increasing the number of staff members devoted to processing web orders. So if you can’t or would rather not shop in person at one of our three locations, rest assured that you still can shop with us online and receive prompt, reliable service. And again, the earlier you place your orders for holiday gifts, the better.

Thanks as always for your support—especially so in these challenging times. Let’s all join together to make the upcoming holidays as joyous and safe as possible.

— Brad and Lissa