Is running an independent bookshop the right thing?

May 6th, 2011 by Leave a reply »

My bookshop is, like all other bookshops, likely to suffer massively from the fatal coincidence:

  • a retail spending downturn
  • increasing online competition from Amazon
  • technology shift of e-readers & tablets

Are there things our bookshop can now offer more widely?                                                                                                                     Do we provide a premium service?                                                                                                                                                                     Are there products or services we can provide at lower cost?
Is it being done in the right place, with the right people and resources, to the right audience and delivered in the right way?
In other words, what could be our market breaker ?

We must become that if we can.



  1. Jon Tubmen says:

    I think that you should promote what you do best, which is being a human face of the book world, and being available to talk about books – a “value added” service.

    You’re not the first sector to be squeezed by big corporates, just look at the rest of the high street. The only features the large chains have to offer is low price and convenience. Customer service is often invisible, advice non-existent and quality doubtful.

    • Jason Burley says:

      Yes, we certainly do need to provide a point of friendly human contact for book enthusiasts.
      [However, some people come in to the bookshop, scan book information onto mobile devices & order from competitor, online-only merchants.]
      If bookshop owners pay wages, rent and rates and lose ever more trade, to the point that they end up becoming poor public relations for publishers, will there be another generation of booksellers following on from us?

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