First of all, a big thanks to all the people who have reached out to the Kepler’s 2020 team as we have been working away these past few months to bring our dream to reality.  We’ve been a little silent here on the blog, but here is what we’ve been doing:

Continuing to bring amazing events to Kepler’s
Our events staff has kept up its good work, bringing in authors like Anne Lamott and Young Adults superstar John Green.  As a matter of fact, John Green sold out the Fox Theater in Redwood City!

Retiring old debt
Over the last few years Kepler's had built up a lot of debt with publishers and when the transition team was convened it found that Kepler's had very little cash to settle these old debts.  Over the last few months Kepler's board has successfully renegotiated and paid off most of these old debts using cash from store's operations. This has been hard to do and a great testament to the hard work of the team.

Streamlining operations
The transition team and all the staff have come together to streamline store operations and return it to profitability—a major accomplishment.

Sharing our story
Part of what we want to do is both share the plight of bookstores in America today and start a dialogue of ideas about how we can change things.  We’ve gotten good coverage of our project:

USA Today
San Francisco Chronicle
Wall Street Journal
Publisher's Weekly

Planning for the future
One of the big things Praveen wanted to do when he began this project was hold a Future Search for Kepler's.  He had participated in one of these meetings with fellow transition team member Steve Piersanti of Berrett-Koehler Publishers and found it to be profound and energizing. Steve has been leading our Future Search effort and it is scheduled to happen later this summer.  Kepler's team member Alex Michelucci wrote a post about this effort and will be keeping everyone updated.

Laying a foundation & raising funds
Now that we have been able to stabilize store operations we are moving forward with making changes. First and foremost, we will increase the inventory to provide book lovers more options, and a richer browsing experience. We’ll also improve our behind-the-scenes technology and begin renovating the space to enhance customer service and the in-store environment.   Finally, we are going to begin organizing our arts-and-culture nonprofit.  To help us accomplish our goals we have just launched a fundraising campaign, which already has commitments of almost $400,000. If you haven’t had a chance to support us yet, check out our donations page here.

So as you see we've been keeping ourselves very busy. As we head into the summer we're very excited about where things are headed, and we hope you are, too!


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