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Posts tagged brick-and-mortar bookstores

Indie bookstores off the critical list – who would know?
May 19, 2015 | 10:25 am

downloadAn article in The Daily Beast, "Indie Bookstores Are Finally Not Dying," draws attention to the by-now-just-a-wee-bit-well-known fact that indie bookstores as a whole are not doing so very badly in the post-disruption post-Amazon era, and as it happens are in some cases doing quite well. This isn't to pooh-pooh the sufferings of those worthy bookshops that are struggling in current trading conditions, but it is to discredit the grand Big Five/Luddite narrative of brave little bookshops and their stalwart publisher allies struggling against the Amazon behemoth. The article, covering bookstores in the context of the first Independent Bookstore Day, still...

Whither Foyles?
February 18, 2015 | 12:25 pm

IMG_20150129_124943 Foyles, the famous London independent bookstore, has announced trading results that show it dipping into a loss for the 2014 financial year - albeit on increased turnover. Which prompts the question of how such an independent is faring in today's book trade, and what its direction should be - although whether Foyles is a true barometer of the UK independent sector or a story all in itself is another matter. W & G Foyle Ltd. commenced operation in 1903, when two brothers who had failed the UK civil service exam took out an ad to sell their textbooks. (Somehow, in the...

Amazon to experiment with brick-and-mortar store in New York City
October 9, 2014 | 5:16 pm

Remember when Apple opened its first retail store and everyone thought they were crazy? It’s déjà vu all over again. The Wall Street Journal (article paywalled; google the headline to read) cites the ubiquitous “people familiar with” the matter to reveal that Amazon is opening its first brick-and-mortar store at 7 West 34th St. in New York City, across from the Empire State Building and just a block away from Macy’s at Herald Square, just in time for the holiday season. The store space could be used for same-day delivery in New York City, returns and exchanges, order...

Indie bookstores doing fine: Now stop demonizing Amazon?
April 10, 2014 | 10:31 am

amazonSalon, rarely the most Amazon-friendly of venues, has just run another story on the state of the indie bookstore sector in the U.S., and found surprisingly positive trends. And naturally, being Salon, it saw fit to headline the report with a hit at Amazon like: "The independent bookstore lives! Why Amazon’s conquest will never be complete." In the article, Andrew Leonard picks up on the same kind of data that I instanced previously on the relative fortunes of indie bookstores and major book chains (Borders in particular, of course) in the era of digital disruption. "Brick-and-mortar bookstores aren’t dead, yet," he...

A First Look at Indigo Tech!
August 29, 2013 | 2:14 pm

Indigo Tech Indigo Tech is open for business! I snapped these pics today at my local store, and it's about what I expected: a fancier Kobo kiosk, iPads and more! The various wall displays have headphones, speakers, health products such as the Fitbit, iPad creative accessories like a Crayola effects pad, and cases and accessories. The dedicated staff person moved back and forth between the main display and the separate Kobo area. I already have an iPad, and none of the displayed accessories caught my eye. But there are more Indigo stores than Apple stores, so maybe they're hoping to use that to bring...

What’s Indigo up to? And what, exactly, is Indigotech?
August 16, 2013 | 3:43 pm

IndigoHot on the heels of Kobo's price drop on the Arc, I was at my local Indigo (a major Canadian bookstore chain) this afternoon to find the bargain books section shrunken, the fitness books crammed in with them, and in what used to be the large-ish lifestyle section where those books were before, a huge walled-off section bearing this message: Hmmm. I wonder if Indigo's impending press event is about more than just a refresh on the Arc? Clearly, Indigo intends to build a grander home for their Kobo kiosk behind that wall... Stay tuned! We'll post an update as soon as...

The Battle for Bookstores: Who’s their ideal customer now?
August 16, 2013 | 10:46 am

bookstoreI'd bookmarked several articles this week waxing philosophical about the fate of the bookstore, and it seems I am not the only one who noticed this trend: Laura Hazard Owen did a nice round-up for GigaOM summarizing the contributions from some main players. Joseph Esposito, Mike Shatzkin and Seth Godin all approach the book issue from different vantage points (Esposito and Shatzkin are cunsultants, Godin is an author) but reach a few similar conclusions, about the move to e-books (inevitable, whether welcome or not) and the shift to purchasing online versus purchasing in stores. Godin seems a little more sentimental and hopes...

Members-Only Bookstores: What Would Make You Pay?
August 1, 2013 | 10:22 am

bookstoreBook Riot has a great little article up exploring the concept of a members-only bookstore. As the article explains, this idea has been floated around (most recently by Bloomberg News, whom they cite) as a way to 'save' the bricks-and-mortar bookstore against showrooming, the practice of customers coming in to browse, then going home and ordering it online for cheaper. Author Jeff O'Neal doesn't find the Bloomberg article's suggestions very compelling, but does go on to list a few ideas of his own—not for a 'members-only' bookstore per se, but for services a regular bookstore could offer that people might find worth getting...

Do You Pre-Order Your E-Books?
July 29, 2013 | 10:00 am

pre-orderOver the weekend came the news that Smashwords is rolling out the ability to pre-order its titles in the major bookstores. Yay? Or meh? Before we get too excited, Michael Kozlowski asks the necessary follow-up question: Do people actually use this shopping method? Do you out there in Internetland actually pre-order books? Kozlowski acknowledges that surely, some people do pre-order, or there wouldn't be a demand for offering it. But he adds that booksellers have been less keen to exploit some of the incentives that movie, music and video game companies have for shelling out early. From the article: "If you order an album...

Fancy children’s books: Who are they for?
July 3, 2013 | 11:17 am

children's booksAs a book-devouring adult reader, e-books have changed my life. But one of the areas in which I still prefer paper is children's picture books. Once they hit chapter-book reading level, I'd happily turn a kid loose on an e-book reader, but when they still need pictures, and when the layout and typographics matter, this is one genre where paper still rules. Or ... does it? It's been a holiday weekend here in Canada (Happy Canada Day!) and we spent most of it in big-chain bookstores letting the young relative we were visiting play with the train tables that were set...

Are Bookstore Experiences the Way of the Future?
July 2, 2013 | 4:03 pm

bookstoreI've seen a flurry of articles lately documenting the increasingly shrinking quantity of shelf space in bookstores being devoted to actual books. My local Indigo has an entire level that stocks almost no books at all—it's got magazines, the Kobo kiosk, the cash desk area and a large selection of high-end housewares with a few shelves of themed books thrown in (decorating, cookbooks and garden books mostly, placed strategically with related non-book merchandise). All the actual books for reading are on the second level. Not the bookstore of my youth by any means! But is there a way to do a store like...

London’s Lion & Unicorn Bookshop closure shows rent woes of UK independent bookstore sector
June 28, 2013 | 10:17 am

The Lion & UnicornMournful reports signaled the closure of a much-loved children's independent bookshop in Southwest London's Richmond, the Lion & Unicorn Bookshop—this time, not citing competition from e-books or Amazon's online sales juggernaut, but rental rises. "It is with great regret I have to announce that after 36 years the Lion & Unicorn is to cease trading in Richmond," said Jenny Morris, owner and managing director of the Lion & Unicorn, in an announcement on the bookstore's website. "In recent years our rent has increased to the point where it is now unsustainable." The Lion & Unicorn won the Independent Bookseller of the Year...

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