Less than a month after Ferozsons bookstore on The Mall was destroyed in a fire that raged for several days, the bookstore has opened its doors again.
The reason behind the fire, that started on May 30 and caused an estimated loss of Rs150 million has not been ascertained.
The management has now made temporary arrangements and restarted sale on June 27. A five-member team is currently managing the store.
While books are back of some shelves, the building still needs a revamp.
“There were rumours about us planning to close down,” Sheraz, one of the workers at the store, says, adding, “So we decided to restart operations early to assure people that we were not going anywhere.”
Sheraz told The Express Tribune that 90 per cent of the books, English and Urdu, on display currently were Ferozsons publications.
Only a few hundred books, mostly dictionaries, are on view in an area approximately 30-foot wide and 10-foot deep into the shop.
The volumes on 16 other shelves range from children’s books to recipe collections and religious publications. The shelves are neither labelled or represent clear categories.
As many as 10 shelves are placed a little further to block entry into the main hall, which according to the staff, is being renovated.
There are just three fans and four energy savers at the disposal of the staff and the walls show fire damage.
There are currently two tables, one of which is being used as the billing counter. The store is open from 9am to 7pm. It will continue to follow these timings till the renovation is completed, the management says.
Sheraz says it will take several months before renovation is complete.
“It’s just the start. It will take at least three months, I believe,” he says.
Shamsul Hassan Madni, the outlet manager, however, refuses to say anything.
As for a regular customer like Imran Fahad, the fire incident at the store was tragic.
“I am sad to see the store in this condition” he says. Fahad, now father of four, says he has been visiting the store since his childhood. His children, too, he says are now regular visitors. He hoped the store management would speed up the renovation process.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 30th, 2012.
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