Kepler's announces expanded outdoor plaza shopping and phone service. Outdoor shopping available during Tuesday-Friday 11am-5pm, Saturday 10am- 3pm, and Sunday 10am-2pm. Please read our statement about Black Lives Matter and browse our recommended books for combating racism for adults and kids.

Community Update - April 10, 2020

Hello everyone!

I am writing on behalf of all of us at Kepler’s to give you an update on how we are doing and check in with you. I hope you and your loved ones are sheltering and staying safe and healthy during these unprecedented times.

How’s Kepler’s doing and when will we reopen?
We closed the retail bookstore for the public starting March 17 and it will likely need to stay closed until May 3 and possibly even longer. Similarly all events and programs had to be cancelled or moved online from early March through the end of May and that will likely continue beyond May.

Good news is that we are still processing web orders placed on www.keplers.com. We are grateful to all of you who have turned to our website to order books in the last few weeks. Our web orders have increased significantly, though not enough to make up for the lost sales due to the closure of the physical store. Our web orders team, consisting of Michael, Henry, Joss, and McKenna, is processing these orders from their homes seven days a week. All web orders are being shipped directly to customers’ homes from our book supplier’s warehouses in Oregon and a few other locations.  To make our books more affordable, we have reduced our shipping charges.

How’s Kepler’s staff doing?
I know many of you have developed strong relationships with our team so I want to let you know that all of our team members are healthy and most of them are working from their homes to stay engaged with Kepler’s and our community. A few of our team members generously opted out of working during this time to help lower payroll costs.

We are using the downtime required by the current situation to invest in our team so we can emerge stronger from this crisis. Our goal has been, and will continue to be, to avoid doing layoffs or mandatory pay cuts as long as financially feasible. In addition to processing web orders, our staff are working on training and development, back-office projects to improve future store inventory, new ways to remotely engage with our community, and developing a new partnership with the Menlo Park library.

We are doing this for a few reasons. First, we believe Kepler’s staff are our most important and invaluable assets! All of them collectively create and maintain everything Kepler’s is known for – curation, customer service, events, knowledge of books, community focus, etc. They make Kepler’s real, alive, unique, and precious.

Second, many of our team members rely on their Kepler's paychecks for their monthly expenses so we are taking our responsibility towards them seriously.

Third, we have a great team right now and it's taken a lot of time and energy to build this team. We would hate to lose good people because of this crisis. I am pleased to say that our team is successfully adapting to the new reality, quickly learning new skills, and appreciative of continuing to have jobs in the current environment.

How can you help?
The Coronavirus crisis is impacting our society and economy in extraordinary ways. Nearly 16 million Americans have filed for unemployment in the last three weeks.

Kepler’s has been an important cultural institution for 65 years and we assure you that we plan to be around for a long time. We need to hold on to our most precious assets - our people!

You can support Kepler’s by buying books and gift cards and renewing/ starting your Literary Circle membership – all of these can be done online through our website.

Below are some links that might be helpful to browse our book selections online:

If you need any help please email orders@keplers.com

“We will lose a lot in these next months. We’ve already lost too much. One thing we don’t need to lose is our independent bookstores… If there were ever a time to take a few extra moments to order through your local bookstore, it’s now.” 
- Dave Eggers, Bestselling author and founder of McSweeney’s and 826 Valencia

In our next email newsletter, we will share a short survey to get your input on how Kepler’s can better serve you during this lockdown period. In the meantime, please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions or suggestions.

Let’s keep calm and keep reading. We are in this together and we are looking forward to staying connected. 
 
In solidarity,

 

CEO, Kepler’s Books
Board Member, Kepler’s Literary Foundation