6 July 2012 by Dominic Lenton
I wrote here last month, about how giants like Waterstones and small independents alike are reacting to the dramatic growth of web retailers.
The Booksellers Association, which represents virtually all of the UK and Ireland's independent bookshops, is working hard to highlight their social importance through its 'Keep Books on the High Street' campaign. As reported in E&T's look ahead at what the British high street of the future might look like, BA chief executive Tim Godfray has claimed that "Maintaining bookshops on our high street is vital to literacy, the future economic prosperity of UK plc and the cultural health of the nation."
Such is the nature of the book trade that even before Wimbledon's finished, the first thing you're likely to see when you visit the BA website is a festive advert promoting the Association's annual Christmas Books campaign. They haven't been ignoring how members can entice customers in out of the rain before then though. Trade magazine The Bookseller reports that a BA survey has found shops with cafes are likely to have higher sales than those without.
The research only looked at 40 stores out of more than a thousand BA members, but found that those offering customers a cappuccino with their Conrad saw a 3 per cent growth in overall turnover last year compared with a 5.2 per cent decline for caffeine and pastry-free premises. Hungry punters weren't just dropping in for refreshments either. Shops with cafes sold 2 per cent more books, those without 4 per cent fewer.
Would you like fries with that?
Read all about it...
Maybe there is something to George Costanza's conspiracy theory regarding bookshops setting up cafes and toilets from this Seinfeld episode. "They're selling coffee, bran muffins. You're surrounded by reading material. It's entrapment!"
Posted By: Dominic Lenton @ 06 July 2012 05:43 PM General
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