Close
 

Booksellers NZ's CEO on the rise of the independent bookstore

  • News
  • April 18, 2016
  • Elly Strang
Booksellers NZ's CEO on the rise of the independent bookstore


What kind of feedback have you heard from booksellers in the provincial towns? You mentioned its positive?

It is positive, after 2015 with the 7.1 percent increase in book sales volume and the strength of selling continuing into the new year, there are certainly smiles on booksellers’ faces I’ve seen. It’s working quite well in the provincial areas as well, not just in the cities. I’ve been talking to people like Wardini Books in Havelock North, Louise Wardini was saying how good trading is at the moment, Page & Blackmores Booksellers in Nelson, and the University bookshop Dunedin, it’s all fairly good news.

Why do you think it’s so positive?

It’s a lot to do with the economy not just here in New Zealand, but also in the United States where I’ve just came back from, Australia and the UK. It’s to do with the economy and in large part, it’s also to do with bookshops, especially smaller bookshops in provincial or country towns who are really learning how to combat the likes of online retailers offshore such as Amazon. We don’t have any statistics really around online buying of e-books and so on, but it would appear on a worldwide scale that those sales have tapered off. In fact, there are indications that they’re declining as people – readers – are discovering the virtues of bricks and mortar stores and the service they get. The local bookshop has an understanding of their particular interests and the personal curation of books. It’s that whole relationship a bookshop has as cultural hub as a part of a small community - that seems to be quite a significant aspect of why these country bookshops are doing well.
 

What is the strength of being an independent store in these smaller provinces? Do the indies find it easier to build a relationship with these tight knit communities?


That’s the key to it, yes, the important aspect that the local bookshop understands their local customers and can look after their local customers better because they communicate with them and understand their needs. I remember a while ago a bookseller saying to me, in some ways a book seller can be like a doctor or a lawyer, as there’s a personal relationship where buyers come in and ask for books to do with personal advice, finance or with health. Or they can be interested in what the latest romance novel is about, or what a local author has recently produced. That bookseller’s local knowledge of the community around them and fulfilling their needs is one of the keys to this issue. There’s a whole lot of discussion, even in academic circles, around the principle of the third place. There are three places in your life – your home, your place of work and then also, we’re social animals and we need a place where can commune and socialise. A number of things in a small community that can provide that service: the church, the pub, or a bookshop. You can go browse through books, talk to the bookseller, talk to other people in your community that happen to be there. This whole local aspect has become increasingly important. A number of our bookshops are now emphasising to their customers in different ways what that customer is doing for their local community by buying from that local store, and so on. There’s not just the bookseller helping out the local, it’s the locals helping out the bookseller as well as part of a community.

Where do you predict the future is heading for these independent stores?

While sales are rising, which is great, what we may now begin to see is a major turnaround is happening, particularly in the US and Australia. People are opening new bookshops and buying existing bookshops. I’ve only seen one or two examples, but there are examples out there and I think that 2016 we will see an expansion of that activity. There’s a brand-new shop just about to open in another part of Wellington that doesn’t have a bookshop, expansion of a university bookshop in the lower part of Wellington. Up in Auckland, a couple of sisters have bought the iconic Dorothy Butler Children’s Bookshop in Ponsonby. You’re hearing of other people becoming more interested in perhaps opening or expanding their bookshops. One of the other factors in the US, which is probably a factor that doesn’t exist here, is the closure of the big chains such as Borders. In America not only have Borders collapsed and gone away, but the other big chain Barnes and Noble are closing a lot of stores, and this obviously opens up the opportunity for indie bookshops to open. 
 

  • This interview was part of a feature on provincial retailing published in issue 743 of NZRetail Magazine. 
​ ​

This is a community discussion forum. Comment is free but please respect our rules:

  1. Don’t be abusive or use sweary type words
  2. Don’t break the law: libel, slander and defamatory comments are forbidden
  3. Don’t resort to name-calling, mean-spiritedness, or slagging off
  4. Don’t pretend to be someone else.

If we find you doing these things, your comments will be edited without recourse and you may be asked to go away and reconsider your actions.
We respect the right to free speech and anonymous comments. Don’t abuse the privilege.

 

Eat my Lunch opens its first physical store

  • News
  • July 23, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
Eat my Lunch opens its first physical store

The popular buy one give one model of Eat My Lunch has officially opened its first retail store in Auckland’s downtown Britomart. The store maintains its charity initiative, supplying a Kiwi kid lunch with every $14 spent.

Read more
 
 

InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

  • News
  • July 18, 2019
  • The Register team
InStyle names All Is For All’s Grace Stratton a ‘Badass Woman’

Grace Stratton, the 20-year-old founder of specialty ecommerce site All Is For All, has been named one of 50 global Badass Women by US glossy magazine InStyle. The list includes international celebrities like Mindy Kaling and businesspeople like Stitch Fix chief executive Katrina Lake.

Read more
 
 

Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

  • Opinion
  • July 18, 2019
  • Elly Strang
Wellbeing in the workplace: Here's how its affecting your staff, and your bottom line

Idealog editor Elly Strang recently spoke at the Magazine Publishers Association conference about the importance of wellbeing in the workplace, and the key takeaways from Wellness Month. She shares why it shouldn't be thought of as a luxury nice-to-have, like yoga classes, as research is showing it impacts on your bottom line, as well as some tips on how to create change in the workplace.

Read more
 

Social scoreboard

Zavy and The Register have worked together to create a scoreboard that compares how the top 25 traditional media advertising spenders in New Zealand have performed on social media over the past 30 days, updated in real time.

 
topics
Regional rollercoaster
What does retail look like in 2019 for ...
Concept to closet
Business coverage of New Zealand Fashion Week.
Town centres
A positive retail environment over the past 12 ...
Amazon Arrival
Keeping up with all things Amazon as it ...
The Retail Yearbook 2017
As we battle our way through the busiest ...
Hospitality enhancing retail
Some think food and integrated hospitality offerings will ...
The future is bright
We spoke with four retailers in their twenties ...
Spotlight on signage
At first glance, the humble in-store sign might ...
Red Awards 2016
The Red Awards for retail interior design celebrate ...
Auckland Unitary Plan
Auckland is changing. The Unitary Plan will decide ...
How to open a store
Sarah Dunn considers what it would take to ...
All things to all people
Kiwi retailers share their omnichannel strategies.
Rising stars
Retail's top young achievers.
Delivering on your promises
The sale isn't over until your item is ...
Retail in heartland New Zealand
Retailers keep the regions pumping, but how strong ...
Sisterhood
Women in retail help one another. We spoke ...
The changing face of retail
Shifting demographics are creating big changes in New ...
The retail yearbook
With the help of experts in the retail ...
Retail rogues
We put the spotlight on staff training. Jai ...
Here come the giants
Topshop has arrived in Auckland’s CBD, David Jones ...
From retail to e-tail
Ecommerce has become part of the way mainstream ...
Window shopping: A spotlight on social media
Sarah Dunn and Elly Strang look at how ...
Loyalty in the digital age
How are retailers maintaining loyalty? Sarah Dunn, Elly ...
The Innovators | In partnership with Spark Business
Technology is rapidly changing the retail industry as ...
 

How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

  • technology
  • July 18, 2019
  • Courtney Devereux
How HomeAR is incorporating AR into architecture design

Many people struggle to envision plans from simple 2D renders and floor plans, as without a designer's eye, filling in blanks from imagination isn’t the most reliable method when it comes to something as important as building a brand-new home or store. Reactar has launched an augmented reality-based platform, HomeAR, to counteract this, which allows users to see and engage with homes in a virtual way, making the very personal process more reliable.

Read more
 
 

Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

  • Who's Where
  • July 18, 2019
Simon West is the new chief executive of Torpedo7

Simon West, who has 20 years' experience leading companies like Ezibuy, has been appointed the chief executive of The Warehouse Group's outdoor retailer Torpedo7.

Read more
 

Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

  • Design
  • July 17, 2019
  • Sarah Dunn
Bay of Plenty D2C Saltysea opens its first store

Stephanie Saxton has been selling cheeky swimsuits and ethical activewear online out of Bay of Plenty's Athenree since 2018. She's now opened Saltysea's first bricks and mortar store, the Salty Collective.

Read more
 
Next page
Results for
Topics
Jobs
About us.

The Register provides essential industry news and intelligence, updated daily. And the digital newsletter delivers the latest news to your inbox twice a week — for free!

©2009–2015 Tangible Media. All rights reserved.
Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our Privacy policy.

Advertise
The Register

editor@theregister.co.nz

Content marketing/advertising? Email anita.hayhoe@icg.co.nz or call 022 639 3004

View Media Kit

}