After 144 years of business in Utah, Deseret Book Company today announces the opening of its new flagship store in downtown Salt Lake City, just a few feet from its original location.
In 1866, George Q. Cannon & Sons, the forerunner to Deseret Book Company, opened its doors near the corner of Main St. and South Temple, operating as a bookbinder, bookseller, stationer, printer, and publisher. Its first published title was the Juvenile Instructor, used as Sunday School material for members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Nearly a century and a half later, Deseret Book is one of the oldest retailers and publishers in the country. Deseret Book’s new flagship store enjoys not only the largest selection of LDS products anywhere but a rich and storied history.
“We have attempted to create a retail experience different from anything Deseret Book has done before,” said Sheri Dew, company President and CEO. “Through the expanded range of products chosen for this store as well as displays and historic artifacts, the flagship Deseret Book provides a unique experience with LDS culture and history.”
The flagship Deseret Book is located at 45 W. South Temple, south across the street from Temple Square. The 14,000-square-foot store is the largest location the company operates. Its hours are 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Unique Store Features
The flagship store includes services not currently offered in other Deseret Book locations, including limited-edition leatherbound classic books, custom scripture rebinding, an old-fashioned Sweet Treat Emporium with candy sold by the pound, and a 32-foot video wall, showcasing book trailers, video clips, and historic vignettes. A fine art gallery features custom framing, sculptures, and an on-site Art Concierge. A Lion House Pantry Express designed for those who want to “grab and go” includes cookies, cakes, pies, quiche, cinnamon rolls, chicken salad or pulled pork sandwiches, and the Lion House’s famous signature rolls-both the freshly baked and new frozen Take ‘n’ Bake varieties.
The flagship store has also made room for a full-service Distribution Services store-in-store. Products in this area range from a full line of scriptures and curriculum materials to sacred clothing.
The store’s 17-foot-high front window will feature spectacular displays throughout the year and will become a downtown “must see.” The debut window is a tribute to the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, celebrating 100 years of recording in 2010. Included is a replica pipe organ as well as one of the original pulpits from the Tabernacle. A permanent display honoring the world-renowned Choir is featured in the store’s music and entertainment area.
The new store will not only spotlight LDS art from around the world but craftsmanship as well. For example, the wide-plank wood floors that flank the eastern entrance, made in Honduras by an LDS craftsman, were chosen in part because the profits from that business sponsor LDS missionaries from Central America.
The icing on the cake for Deseret Book shoppers is access to new premium parking, located directly under the store and accessed from South Temple just west of the Utah Woolen Mills.
“The flagship store has been designed to be more than a store,” said Dew. “It is an experience, a reflection of Latter-day Saint values, beliefs, history, and culture. We hope that those who come to Temple Square, the Conference Center, and other downtown landmarks will not consider their visit complete until they have also been to Deseret Book.”