Comment: Saving UK independent bookshops from extinction
The decline of the independent bookshop sector shows no sign of abatement as figures published recently by the UK Booksellers Association highlights.
In the last five years, the number of independent bookshops in the UK has fallen by almost 500. Nor is it likely to get any better soon as Amazon’s sales of physical books, Kindle e-readers and e-books increase remorselessly.
Making matters worse still, Amazon’s excellent customer service levels remain amazingly high too, as indicated by the constant stream of awards flowing in from all over the Globe.
And those thinking David Cameron will come to the rescue will also receive a major upset. Because despite their recent interest in the High Street, the UK Government’s package of support will not turn back time and is transparently not a substantive solution to town centre regeneration.
So threatened by Amazon and trends such as digital publishing, independent UK booksellers must act now to avoid extinction and reinvent themselves to create a viable long term future.
Major sponsorship opportunity
Taking a highly innovative approach, Mike Phillips, an ex-Head of Retail at KPMG Business Advisory Services, strongly supported by Professor Cathy Parker of Manchester Metropolitan University and Chris Conway, director of the Book Partnership, has now created a viable proposal to save this threatened sector. When asked about her involvement, Professor Parker, who has been studying the decline of the independent retail sector for over 15 years said “This is exactly the sort of mechanism to build a collective and viable response to the competition and serve the changing needs of consumers”.
Amongst many creative strategies, the proposed system will allow bookshop owners to successfully compete against Amazon head to head.
The team is looking for sponsors for two projects, the first, a working up of the processes scheme, and secondly, writing the highly innovative software programme that will seriously dilute Amazon’s market dominance.
If you are interested in getting involved with this scheme, please email MIke Phillips at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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