Booksellers Association calls for an end to charity bookshop concessions
The Booksellers Association is calling for an end to the tax and business rate concessions offered to charity bookshops as it believes they give unjust competitive advantage over other bookshops.
The association said the move follows concern from high-street booksellers that many charity bookshops are professionally run and staffed by experienced retailers. It also said that one charity is believed to have more outlets in the UK selling books than the largest speciality bookshop.
Tim Godfray, chief executive of the Booksellers Association, said: "Trading conditions for high street retail booksellers are extremely tough in the current climate and unfair competition from charity bookshops is something our members do not need. If we are serious about protecting retail diversity on the high street, we need to review the strong tax and rate concessions given to charities who run shops. If a charity shop sells new goods, why should it benefit from tax and business rate concessions?"
The BA said that members had specifically reported that The Healthy Planet, a charity bookshop in London, was offering titles by best-selling authors and that the charity was now approaching publishers for stock.
Godfray said: "BA members think that The Healthy Planet has strayed from its stated goal of dealing in genuinely unwanted titles and is now competing with booksellers on the high street."
However, Healthy Planet has denied the claim saying that the stock came from other charities or online dealers.
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