January 12, 2005

Independent Bookstores Struggle (& Succeed!) Against Giant Chains

The key to making a profit from an independent bookstore is NOT to compete on price with the big chains and superstores, but on service, quality, and experience:

For owners of independent bookstores, their work is often a labor of love. Struggling to compete with super-sized bookstores, discount retailers and the Internet, many neighborhood bookstores have found they are competing in a much broader marketplace than when they opened shop.

“It has been a struggle,” said Jane Stroh, owner of The Bookstore in downtown Glen Ellyn. “But I think it has been a struggle fro all independent businesses in the face of large corporations.”

Stroh, who bought the store in 1997, said her decision to operate a small bookstore was one she made for the joy and love of books.

“If I were looking to make a lot of money, I wouldn’t do it,” she added. An employee of The Bookstore since 1985, Stroh went in with her eyes open, well aware of the complications of competing in the book market.

“The competition isn’t other (independent) booksellers, we work together,” she said. “National chains are certainly competition, but a lot of us have made it through.”

I have a love of independent booksellers, and patronize their stores. I can tell you personally that you DO compete against one another, as well as Wal-Mart.

Posted by Kevin on January, 12 2005 at 08:21 PM | TrackBack

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