The World’s Best Bookstore Is Located in Estonia

  • 2022-03-29

The oldest books’ retailer in Estonia Rahva Raamat Viru Store named Bookstore of the Year at the London Book Fair.

Last week, the London Book Fair, with a 42-year history, announced its Bookstore of the Year. In addition to the winner Rahva Raamat Viru Store, the nominees were La Mistral in Spain and Norli Universitetsgata in Norway.

"We are very glad that the refurbishment of the bookstore in Viru Center, which lasted almost a year and a half, was so successful that it was noticed in the worldwide community and we won such a prestigious award!" Said Viljar Ots, Chairman of the Board of Rahva Raamat.

When choosing the winner of the Bookstore of the Year, the London Book Fair's International Excellence Award panel judges the overall atmosphere and style, innovation, creativity, level of customer service and sales expertise, as well as the ability to combine a physical bookstore with digital opportunities. 

The challenge in redesigning the floor plan at Rahva Raamat Viru Store and customer shopping journey was to create a cozy atmosphere between 5 kilometers of shelves and 48,000 books, thousands of games, movies, music, and gifts. The aim was to make both adults and children feel that the shop has a truly pleasant and calm atmosphere ideal for taking some time off, staying in the store longer and finding books they’re into. A café and several quiet seating areas have been incorporated between the bookshelves to support the general mood, too. In addition, the store includes a stage suitable for organizing book premieres and other events.  

"The renewed store has been very well received by the people in Estonia and our sales have increased by 30% compared to the same period last year. We are most delighted by visitors who take their time to write on our social media accounts that they would even stay the night at our store just because the store is so nice. The recommendation index given to us by our customers is as high as 87,” Ots added. 

Interior design for Rahva Raamat Viru Store was done by UDDU architects led by Mari Ots, environmental graphic designs were created by design agency Velvet.  

Rahva Raamat Viru Store will receive its International Excellence Award on April 7 at the London Book Fair.