Investment Portal of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation

All Our Friends bookstore opens in Arkhangelsk

AZRF resident opens an independent bookshop

14.02.2023 // The people of Pomorie now have the opportunity to visit an alternative shop to the chain bookstores and buy educational and scientific literature from small and independent publishers chosen by the shopkeepers themselves.

The new bookshop in Arkhangelsk is called All Our Friends. The project, worth about RUB 2.3 million, has been implemented by Daria Titkova, a resident of the Arctic Zone of the Russian Federation, under an agreement with the Far East and Arctic Development Corporation (FEDC). The bookshop is independent, meaning it is not part of any bookstore chain. It works with various publishers, and its book range is selected by the shop staff themselves.

The shop called All Our Friends offers books ranging from children's literature to philosophy and art in a wide range of price categories. You can also buy magazines, postcards, badges, notebooks and souvenirs here. The range is different from that offered by chain shops, so the new bookshop does not have to compete with them.

"Chain shops tend to work with several major publishers. At the same time, they usually do not offer 'niche' books by small and independent publishers, for example, intellectual comics, high-quality journalism, philosophy, and autofiction. In our store, these products make up about 40% of the product range," says Darya Titkova, the founder.

According to the project manager, all bookstores significantly contribute to shaping the urban space. However, independent bookshops are mainly found in large cities such as Moscow and St. Petersburg, while in Arkhangelsk, there was nothing of the kind until recently.

"I love rare books, and I wanted our city to have a place where they would be represented," explains the entrepreneur.

One of the activities of the All Our Friends shop is to hold themed events, including book launches, lectures and children's readings. They are held on weekends, according to a pre-planned event programme. There are plans for March and other months.

The idea to open an independent bookshop came to the businesswoman a year ago. According to the investor, she received extensive help for the project, including information support, from FEDC and the Regional Development Agency. Her AZRF resident status has granted her certain advantages, including tax benefits and reduced insurance premiums for new jobs.

The investment was used to renovate the premises, including upgrading the water supply, sewerage and heating grids and creating new internal power supply and fire alarm systems. Equipment, furniture and the first batch of books and magazines were also purchased as part of the project.

"We supervise and provide comprehensive support for all investment projects, including social and educational spheres. Today, 35 residents in the Far East and the Arctic Zone of Russia are creating developmental, educational, recreational, cultural and leisure centres for children and adults. New facilities will appear in Yakutia, the Primorye Territory, Sakhalin, Kamchatka, the Republic of Buryatia and Chukotka. Investment has already reached RUB 1.9 billion. Once launched, the projects will provide jobs for 1,600 local residents," says Vitaly Ponomarev, Director of the Investment Projects Support Department at FEDC.