Mr Sheardown, the owner of Victoria Park’s Crow Books, heard about the possibility of New Edition running through its lease and closing down. He said initially he had hoped someone would see it for the opportunity that it was and would take it on.
With more than 14 years of experience in the industry, he said the issue continued to nag him until he decided to give the bookshop the chance it deserved.
‘It’s a really great bookshop, with great customers, a great history and part of a great community,’ he said.
The first thing on Mr Sheardown’s to-do list was to move to a new shop-front that was more manageable size-wise, while still keeping it on High Street.
The new location, on the corner of High Street and Henry Street, won’t be ready until June, but Mr Sheardown said he was looking forward to keeping the iconic store thriving and widening the appeal to different readers through initiatives such as stocking a large collection of graphic novels and sci-fi books.
‘The new building is a beautiful space, light and accessible and even though it will be smaller than the current shop it will still be larger than the original New Edition that regulars would remember,’ he said.
‘There will be the same quality books, same quality staff, same commitment; the only change will be a renewed energy and passion.
‘I hope regular customers get more of what they love about their bookshop and I hope people who haven’t been into a bookshop for a while come in and have another look.’
His optimism even spreads through to the Fremantle business community as a whole, saying the much-talked about demise of local businesses did not come into consideration.
‘I looked at New Edition on its own and reckon it’s going to be a great business,’ he said.
‘I don’t buy into all this lack-lustre talk, whenever I go down to Freo it has real character about it, a bustle and grunginess that I really like.’