Curious George & Friends, a beloved children’s bookstore prominently located in Harvard Square, will reopen under new management this spring after it closed this past June.
According to Denise A. Jillson, executive director of the Harvard Square Business Association, the close of Curious George prompted a tremendous outpouring of public support for the store last summer. Jillson said she partially attributes its reopening to public pressure.
The quirky bookstore has long helped to “train the next generation of passionate readers,” said Jeffrey Mayersohn ‘73, owner of Harvard Bookstore, one of Cambridge’s few remaining independent bookstores.
Curious George will continue to carry books, clothing, games, and toys centered around the Curious George brand and aim to take advantage of the many tourists and residents passing through Cambridge.
According to the Cambridge Chronicle, new owners Adam and Jamie Hirsch want to revamp the store’s marketing approach. They have been working with NBC Universal to refresh their business strategy, according to the Chronicle.
For example, they plan to refashion the store’s logo and name to cement their position as the only Curious George specialty store in the world.
The Hirsches have set up a website as part of a new focus on online multimedia and marketing. The site will eventually allow customers to order their merchandise online.
The store will open at the end of April after significant interior renovation and redecoration.
The bookstore had closed around the same time that Globe Corner Books, another legendary bookseller in the Square, shut down. The two closings were the latest in a series of losses of independent bookstore in Cambridge.
“When they closed, book lovers mourned their loss,” Mayersohn said. “It’s great that that tradition will continue.”
Although the Harvard Book Store expanded its children and travel sections after Curious George & Friends closed last summer, Harvard Book Store could never replace Curious George’s niche as a specialty provider of children’s books, Mayersohn said.
Mayersohn said he is not concerned about potential competition posed by the reopening.
Curious George “will bring more booklovers into the Square,” Mayersohn said. “We all benefit from it.”
—Staff writer Laura K. Reston can be reached at email@example.com.
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