The country’s largest Australian-owned and operated book retailer, QBD Books is taking over operations of the former Dymocks store in Sydney’s Broadway Shopping Centre.

Grand opening celebrations at the 500 square metre QBD Books Broadway store will commence from 10am on Monday 13 November, attended by renowned nutritionist, author and Channel Seven Sunrise personality, Sarah Di Lorenzo, who will perform an official ribbon-cutting alongside QBD Books CEO, Nick Croydon and QBD Books national manager, Gary Parker-Shirley.

Other special guests visiting the store during opening week include coastal scientist and beach safety researcher, Rob ‘Dr Rip’ Brander, Australian singer and interior designer, Belinda Chapple, ABC News journalist and thriller author, Tim Ayliffe, and model, actor and children’s author, Christian Wilkins.

The week will be rounded out by a book signing with best-selling crime fiction author Candice Fox, who will be in-store on Saturday 18 November.

Opening week will be capped off by sales and customer giveaways and coincides with QBD Books offering vinyl records in-store for the first time, following a new partnership with Sony Music.

The company is dedicated to keeping bookstores open and bringing books to as many Australian households as possible, according to Croydon.

“We’re proud to be a flagbearer for bricks and mortar bookstores, and in many locations, such as Broadway, we’ve been able to come in and ensure books have a continued presence in the community,” he said.

“Broadway is an exciting location for us because of its proximity to some of Australia’s best universities – including the University of Sydney and University of Technology Sydney – and avid readers among the student and lecturer populations.

“At the same time, there’s no question that traditional bookstores are facing challenges, and the figures show that in the last 10 years nearly half of all stores have closed – in 2013 there were 2,879 bookstores nationally and today we only have 1,473.

“For us, when we bought QBD in October 2016, the company had a network of 55 stores, and I’m proud to say that in the last seven years we’ve been able to grow that figure to 86 stores, as we continue on our mission to reach 100 stores.”

Croydon says bookstores still have a vital role to play in the Australian economy: “Our industry is worth around $1.7 billion and supports over 10,000 jobs – and in fact, we’re now seeking new full-time and casual staff to join QBD Books Broadway in the leadup to the busy Christmas trading period,” he said.

He also flagged further investment in QBD bookstores with another opening planned in Melbourne before the end of the year, plus expansion and refurbishment of stores across the network.