Monday, May 24, 2010

Glimmer of Hope for Indies

March retail sales at bookstores were up by 1.6 percent, compared with March 2009, according to preliminary figures recently released by the Bureau of the Census - American Booksellers Association
Oren Teicher, chief executive of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), which represents independent stores, reported some good news the other day - membership is up from last years 1,401 to 1,410! But sadly, that is still it low from nearly 3,000 at the height of Independent Book Store ownership.
Independent stores have been struggling with the onslaught of change in the industry:

  1. The spread of superstore chains, like Barnes & Nobles and Borders.
  2. The emergence of and other online retailers.
  3. The rise of the e-book platform, with many versions entering - Kindle, Nook, iPad etc. e-books now account for nearly 8% of sales for some major publishers.
Teicher credits last year’s turnaround mostly to the smarts of the independent community and a willingness to experiment, such as the literary day camp at BookPeople in Austin, Texas, or the clothing store in the Northshire Bookstore in Vermont. ABA president Michael Tucker, co-owner of Books Inc. in San Francisco, says the economy may have helped some stores, making it less costly to find retail space in downtown locations.

As the industry continues to face upheaval, fingers crossed that the Indies keep marching on.

No comments:

Post a Comment