Monday, March 26, 2007

Are you crying? There's no crying in bookselling!

The troubles at the Borders chain in the UK prompt the Guardian to wonder about the future of chain stores, yes chain stores in the face of huge supermarkets and Amazon, at least in the British market.
Although I suspect it's out of politeness that the lead mentions "the individual appeal of the independents" I'll take it because it's true.
Near the end of the article, there's a link to an independent shop that gets it right:
"The purist reader in me cringes at the thought of the country's largest chain of booksellers (and once-upon-a-time bookselling greats) dumbing down its focus areas still further at the expense of a broad range of titles and subject areas. Certainly news of a drop in sales is a bad indicator for the industry, and no one wants to see booksellers losing their jobs or bookshops having to close.
But while the inner reader frowns, the independent bookseller in me is rubbing his hands with glee. It seems that Waterstone's is again indicating its intention to turn around its problems by heading off for a duel to the death with Tesco and the mega-discounters. Cue price wars on chick-lit summer reads, anything by (or remotely connected with) anyone on TV and everyone's favourite little wizard.
Well, much as I'd like to stay and watch, I'm going to be busy brushing up on my humanities selection. The narrower Waterstone's makes its core stock, the easier it is for any decent independent bookshop to find niches where it can compete."
To boot, he's not a bad looking chap either.

Posted by Dave

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