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Coles Book Stores Limited.

In August 1993, Coles opened a new store in the Winnipeg International Airport. Cathy Steen, district manager for Coles in Manitoba, says airport bookstores are different from other bookstores. "For one thing, the hours are much longer. We open at 6:30 a.m. and close at 9:30 p.m." The book selection is different, too. Vacation reading such as fiction and bestsellers sell quickly, as do travel and local interest books, but there have been some surprises as well.

"Children's books are selling much better than we expected," says store manager Mike Nichols, who previously worked in the Coles in Grant Park Shopping Centre. "Books are a good last-minute gift to bring home to that little person saying 'What did you bring me?'" he laughs.

Airport bookstore customers can be different, too. "Travellers may have hours between flights, so they can browse for ages," says Nichols. On the other hand, travellers may be rushing to catch a flight. "Then they want instant service: find the book fast, ring it in fast and get out fast." Winnipeg's airport employees are also customers of the new store. For many of them the airport Coles is their local bookstore.

The Winnipeg Airport Coles is unique because it is much larger than many other airport bookstores. "We made sure there would be lots of room for suitcases and luggage carts," says Steen.

Coles has other airport locations across Canada including Halifax, Montreal and Calgary. In total, there are 240 Coles stores in Canada, as well as The Book Company and Active Minds, and The World's Biggest Bookstore in Toronto.

So, what's the best thing about running an airport bookstore? "So far, it's been meeting lots of authors," says Nichols. During promotional tours, authors fly from city to city across Canada. And an author usually can't resist checking to see if their latest book is in stock. "We've had many authors in already. And other celebrities too, like athletes and politicians. It's kind of exciting."

And how's business so far? Cathy Steen and Mike Nichols agree that sales are exceeding expectations. "This is a great location for us," says Steen. Adds Nichols, "You could say it's taking off."
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Title Annotation:Manitoba Business: Celebrating Success
Publication:Manitoba Business
Date:Nov 1, 1993
Words:365
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