The bookstores in downtown Salt Lake City have become a staple of the city’s downtown area, but now the city is also expanding their reach into the suburbs.
In a city where more than half the residents are between the ages of 15 and 64, the LDS Church has a huge footprint in the area.
It also has a presence in Utah, where it has more than 100,000 members.
To support the growth of its bookstore in the suburbs, the Salt Lake County Bookstore Association and its partners have partnered with the LDS Bookstore Development Corporation, the Utah County Library Association, the National Association of Booksellers and the University of Utah’s School of Journalism.
Together, the two groups plan to turn the downtown mall into a Bookstore Center, an outdoor space where customers can purchase books, apparel, music and other products.
“This is a very important development for us,” said David Pemberton, the executive director of the Salt City Bookstore Associations, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.
“It will allow us to continue to grow our bookstore in a way that is both efficient and sustainable.”
Pemberwood said he thinks the Center will be a good fit for the LDS community, where people are still recovering from the recent flood.
“We have a large congregation in the downtown area and we see the same type of demand we have for Bookstores,” he said.
“Bookstores are a vital part of the downtown economy.
They have a significant impact on the downtown businesses that have a presence.”
Pounceton and other leaders from the Bookstore Alliance and the LDS Conference of the Seventy, which oversees the Booksellings, met last month with representatives from the LDS Storefront Development Corporation and the Utah Department of Licensing and Regulation, which handles bookstore licensing.
Both organizations have been working to expand Bookstores in Salt Lake to the suburbs in recent years.
The LDS Church opened its first bookstore in Ogden, Utah, in the early 1970s and in 2012 opened its second in downtown Denver.
The Bookstore Coalition, which works with LDS Bookstores to promote the Bookstores’ brands and events, was involved in the renovation of the first bookstore.
The Mormon Church also owns more than 2,500 stores in the United States, with more than 1,000 in Salt Valley.
About 4,000 of those are in Utah.
In recent years, LDS Church leaders have said they plan to build Bookstores that will support its global growth.
But the Church has struggled to find a way to attract more people to the Church in the Salt Desert, a region that is home to fewer than half of the population.
“The Bookstore is the one thing we know that’s the church’s signature product,” said Larry Stadler, a spokesman for the Utah Booksellors Association.
“And we know how important it is for people to have a place where they can connect with each other.”
To help the LDS church reach more people, the BookStore Coalition is developing a mobile app to provide information about Bookstores and to encourage people to book at the store.
“With more than 80 percent of our members over the age of 65, we believe Bookstores are an important way to connect people and connect them to a local community,” said Scott Sallen, a spokesperson for the Book Store Coalition.
“They can bring in business to a business that’s struggling to find customers.
They can create a sense of community that brings people together.”
The BookStore Alliance also is developing an online shopping site for Bookselling that will allow customers to shop at Bookstores.
The site will be available in English and Spanish.