Shop vs. Store
Recently a woman came up to me and said, “Tell me, Bill, why you named your place of business ‘Seattle Mystery Bookshop’ rather than ‘Seattle Mystery Bookstore.'” I was tempted to tell her, “Because I wanted people to SHOP here, not STORE things here,” but I didn’t think of it in time, and anyway she was a nice little old lady who didn’t deserve such a snarky reply.
The serious answer is because I felt that “store” implied size, and perhaps coldness, whereas “shop” implied the opposite. I think the name of a retail business is like the title of a book: it gives a first impression, which can make or break it. I was hoping for national as well as local customers, so I wanted people to visualize a small — even intimate — warm, friendly, and TRUSTWORTHY place before ever seeing it. All part of my devilishly clever business plan, including staff members’ names on our bookmarks, calling customers by name whenever possible, keeping a file of customer wants, and whatever other personal touches we could come up with.
Well, little lady, this is probably more than you wanted to know, but thanks for playing right into my hand with your question.