Close
 

Owner / Retailer: Thomas Koed

  • News
  • February 7, 2019
Owner / Retailer: Thomas Koed

Owner: Thomas Koed

Business: Volume

Field: Bookseller

Based in: Nelson

Thomas Koed owns and operate independent bookshop Volume in Nelson with partner Stella Chrysostomou. The acclaimed store, open since 2016, offers a curated approach to literature.

How would you describe Volume to someone who doesn’t know much about it?

In a side street in Nelson there is a very small bookshop in which all the books are interesting. If you love books you will find what you want there (even if you didn't know you wanted it), whether that be interesting fiction, incisive non-fiction, excellent children's books, art, architecture and cookbooks, or discussions about literature and the problems of the world in general. The shop has become a sort of 'third place' for many people (after home and work), a place where their lives are enriched by books and by readers like themselves. 

What led you to start Volume?

Aggressive overseas internet retailers and changing customer requirements have meant that the age of the cashier-focussed high street 'book supermarket' model of bookselling is over. It is impossible to compete with these internet piranhas on their terms, but we thought there might be real rewards in providing people with the opposite of Amazon or the Book Depository.

Instead of infinite stock range (which has been shown to make people buy more and more narrowly) we have a tightly curated selection of books for people to discover, including many that are not otherwise available in New Zealand. We don't try to be all things to all people: we don't stock genre fiction or mass-market non-fiction (though we can easily order anything for anyone). Instead of buying books in isolation or while they are doing something else, we thought people might like to have a place to come and spend time, somewhere where they are welcomed and (perhaps) eventually known, somewhere where they can build a book-oriented relationship with their booksellers (there are only the two of us) and with other people in their community.

Instead of being run by algorithms, Volume operates as an organism. We wanted to make a virtue of being small, agile and innovative. Volume was not only an experiment in trying to operate a new model in an exemplary way, but also an experiment in seeing if there was sufficient demand for a literary bookshop in a provincial town. We have been overwhelmed on both counts with the enthusiasm from our customers, both from those in Nelson and from those throughout the country. 

Volume was named Nielsen New Zealand Bookshop of the Year 2018 and People’s Choice for Best Provincial Retailer on the NZ Retail Hotlist – what differentiates Volume from other stores?

Volume's online presence (website, newsletters, reviews, social media, etc) is very integrated with the physical shop and with the community that has built around both, around books and book-related activities and events. We're not trying to be like anyone else and we see our smallness as an advantage rather than an impediment. We think this model is a good way forward for retailers, and we know that others are having success with similar small characterful businesses. 

What have been the struggles and highlights of running Volume?

Initially, one or two of our suppliers were worried that it would not be possible to establish another bookshop in a town that already had three bookshops on the main street. Fortunately, they knew us well enough to support us, and it turned out that people were indeed very enthusiastic about this different thing that we were doing. Highlights? Facilitating the moment at which a book and a reader find each other is an inexhaustible pleasure. 

What tips do you have for other retailers?

Rethink everything. Question the model. Think small. Be agile. Never be satisfied. Follow your enthusiasms. Make what makes you different into your advantage. Investments of expertise and personality are your best investments. The overseas internet mega-corporates want everyone to forget that retail is primarily what we could call a 'social mode', an expression of our communal instinct.  The more retailers express this communal instinct the better their community will respond.

What does the future hold for Volume?

We have lots of ideas and we tend to act on them fairly quickly. The challenge will be retaining the smallness that is necessary for the agility that we and our customers enjoy about Volume. 

​ ​

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.

 

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
 
 

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
 

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 ...
 

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
 

What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

  • News
  • July 16, 2019
  • Idealog
What the investment community thinks Kiwi businesses lead on the world stage with

Every business goes through a life cycle: start-up, growth, maturity and renewal, rebirth or decline. Once you’ve made it past the juicy, creative ideation stage and into the growth and maturity stage, the time for many comes to seek investment. But what do investors look for beyond a commercial return? And what do investors think New Zealand companies excel at when compared to our neighbouring countries around the world? Executive director of the Angel Association of New Zealand Suse Reynolds shares her top tips for those who are looking for investment.

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

}