SALEM — It’s not your parents’ bookstore — yet.
But when Bull Moose opens its new location next week at 419 S. Broadway, the popular music and DVD store will have a new look and genre.
The store will offer approximately 15,000 books, new and used.
Bull Moose has been a mainstay at various locations in Salem since 1999, but it was mostly known as a place to pick up a CD, movie or video game.
That will change, manager Daniel McCarthy said.
“A significant part of our new store will be books,” he said. “That’s a real big deal for us.”
The 18-employee store is relocating to accommodate its growth in size and popularity, owner Brett Wickard said. He hopes to eventually increase his Salem staff to up to 30 employees
Wickard founded the chain in 1989 while a student at Bowdoin College in Maine, starting the business out of his dorm room.
The Salem store is now one of 11 Bull Moose operations with more than 150 employees in New Hampshire and Maine. The other New Hampshire store is in Portsmouth. Offering a wide selection of books will only boost that popularity, Wickard said.
That will help bring more customers to other stores along the busy Route 28 retail strip, he said.
“We’re looking to grow in New Hampshire,” Wickard said.
The Salem store is expected to provide some competition for national chains such as Barnes & Noble and other local bookstores.
But Wickard said he and Barnes & Noble aren’t rivals. They’re all contending with dealers who only sell their products online and people who would rather spend their time on the Internet instead of picking up a book.
“We’re trying to reach the community so a bunch of generations can shop as one,” he said of his store. “People still really like to touch and feel books.”