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