Bookstore Manager and Lead Buyer

Website literaryarts Literary Arts

Position Category: Full time, Regular

Employee Type: Salaried, Exempt

Reports to: Managing Director

Planned Store Hours: Monday to Sunday, 10 a.m.- 9 p.m.

Work Schedule: Varied; 40 hr/ week

Salary: $65,000/year

Literary Arts is looking for an experienced Bookstore Manager and Lead Buyer to establish and run the bookstore at our multifunction literary center. Literary Arts is in the middle of a transformational, once-in-a-generation project that will grow and reshape the organization for generations to come. This project includes opening a new 14,000-square-foot facility (716 SE Grand Ave.) that will serve as our national headquarters and launching a new writers residency program in a separate facility. The bookstore will occupy the retail floor of the new headquarters (2,000 selling square feet), along with a café. The building is currently being renovated and is projected to open to the public in October 2024.

The successful candidate will have the opportunity to establish and define the store’s direction with the Managing Director and Literary Arts senior leadership.


Literary Arts is a community-based nonprofit arts organization located in Portland, Oregon. Our mission is to engage readers, support writers, and inspire the next generation with great literature.

Our programs create opportunities for readers and writers of all ages and walks of life to engage with stories. We provide programs in concert halls, classrooms, our community space, and on the radio. Literary Arts is committed to remaining a dynamic and responsive organization that will continue to evolve with our community’s needs and deepen our equity work across all our programs.

The Position:

The Bookstore Manager and Lead Buyer will be the first hire for the brand-new bookstore. They will be involved in the planning phase and will be responsible for hiring and training the team. As the cornerstone of defining the store’s direction, the Bookstore Manager and Lead Buyer will establish the store operation by curating an exciting and mission-aligned selection of books, hiring and training the bookstore team, working with the café team to create a warm and welcoming customer experience, and collaborating with the programming staff to support and grow the thriving readers, writers, and youth community that Literary Arts serves. The Bookstore Manager and Lead Buyer will also work with the Senior Director of Finance and Accounting to ensure the bookstore’s financial health, as well as work with the marketing team to ensure effective promotion and advertising of the store.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

Team management:

  • Hire, train, and develop bookstore staff. Responsibilities described below can be shared with future hires and across department, when appropriate, under the Manager’s supervision
  • Coordinate bookstore staff schedules and meetings
  • Delegate responsibilities
  • Oversee staff evaluation, payroll submission, and terminations
  • Cross-department collaboration: the store will run in conjunction with the café, and the bookstore team will also interact with other Literary Arts constituents who are entering the building for classes, meetings, or other activities

Daily Store Operations:

  • Create, adapt, and implement systems during store preparation period
  • Ensure bookstore meets revenue targets and sales goals
  • Serve as the Lead Buyer for opening inventory as well as frontlist buying and stock replenishment
  • Cultivate and steward relationships with sales representatives and publishers, establish and maintain new relationships as needed
  • Manage day-to-day business operations
  • With staff, coordinate bookstore events as needed
  • Oversee the maintenance of operational systems including POS and bookstore portion of website
  • Serve as a role model in creating a welcoming space for both customers and community gatherings
  • Participate in and lead cross-department initiatives
  • Attend trade shows and represent the bookstore in professional gatherings
    Report sales to relevant outlets (PNBA, New York Times, etc.)

Inventory & Merchandising Control:

  • Ensure merchandise is received in a timely way
  • Oversee prompt merchandising and rotation of display spaces
  • Manage inventory count and shrink, order store supplies

Experience & Requirements:

We will consider any combination of relevant work experience, volunteering, education, and transferable skills as qualifying. Please be clear and specific about how your background is relevant.

  • At least three years of experience managing a bookstore
  • Knowledge of budget development and management principles including retail sales principles
  • Experience developing and working within a buying budget
  • Experience with hiring and training retail staff
  • Available to work nights, weekends, and some holidays as required
  • Ability to interact with people with diverse backgrounds
  • Strong interpersonal skills and a passion for building relationships with customers, vendors, and team members
  • Strong public speaking skills with the ability to handle and coordinate event hosting
  • Compassionate and respectful management/conflict resolution skills
  • Experience with “Bookmanager” Point of Sale (POS) system or another bookstore-specific computer management system a plus


  • Commitment to literature and its place in our society
  • Desire to communicate and collaborate with your team and cross-departmentally
  • Comfortable in an environment that acknowledges, encourages, and celebrates differences
  • Confidence with learning and training in technology
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Demonstrated ability to appropriately manage highly confidential information
  • Creative problem-solving aptitude
  • Commitment to the mission of Literary Arts
  • Dedication to creating accessible spaces

Job Conditions:

Benefits: Literary Arts currently pays for health, dental, and vision coverage for each full-time employee, and offers a 401K program with employer match. Literary Arts also fully pays for short- and long-term disability insurance. All full-time employees begin with three weeks of paid vacation time, which increases to five weeks after five years of employment. We also provide three additional paid Personal Days off, in addition to observing approximately twelve paid holidays. As a registered nonprofit, the organization qualifies for public service loan forgiveness. Information on additional benefits is available upon request.

Store/Office Layout: The ground floor of this three-story building will be a retail space (bookstore/café) and open to the public. The Bookstore Manager’s office is on this floor. The receiving area will be in the workroom at the lower level. Retail staff will also have access to staff areas including a bike room, ADA shower, wellness room, and the open office space on the second floor with a shared breakroom, huddle rooms, and hoteling workstations.

Equipment Used: Bookmanager POS on PCs (desktop and laptop) with scanner, label printer, receipt printer, and cash drawer; copier/printer, postage machine, and other standard office equipment.

Physical Demands: This position is regularly required to sit and stand, push and pull with force (and is occasionally required to climb and stoop), reach with hands and arms, and use hand to finger controls. The employee may regularly lift and/or move up to 30 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision, distance vision and peripheral vision as well as reading written, printed, or computer screen data.

Application Information:

To apply, please submit your resume and cover letter to [email protected] with the subject line “Bookstore Manager”. We will begin formally reviewing applications on May 15, 2024.

After you submit your application materials, you will be invited to participate in a voluntary survey. Literary Arts is committed to DEI initiatives, and data collected from these surveys allows us to measure and show the progress we are making in a concrete way.

Literary Arts is committed to creating a diverse, inclusive, and equitable environment for our employees and volunteers. We welcome applicants from diverse backgrounds and experiences. We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

For more information about Literary Arts, visit

To apply for this job email your details to

Keep in Touch!

Subscribe to our e-mail newsletter to receive updates

Let them know you found it on PDX Pipeline!