What The High Street Can Learn From Independent Bookshops

Added on 11/06/2019

With so many of our customers based on the high street, we keep a watchful eye on consumer shopping habits. Unfortunately the news from the high street wasn’t good in May: the British Retail Consortium’s monthly footfall tracker showed store visits were down to a six-year low in May with the cooler weather and the ongoing political uncertainty around Brexit deterring shoppers.

Here at Face Media Group, we have a ‘half glass full’ approach to life and business. As a result, we wondered whether the success of independent book shops might point to a way forward for the high street?
A few years ago, with the introduction of e-books, the last rites were being read for the book. While the book trade itself was hit hard by the rise of ecommerce, particularly the Amazon onslaught.
Independent bookshops have used a variety of strategies to succeed, the most popular of which is to bed themselves into their local community by putting on a mixture of events like book clubs, children’s story time and author events. designed to appeal to their key customer groups.

They’ve also:

  • Opened a tearoom to support the bookshop.
  • Developed really close personal relationships with their customers.
  • Started ‘frequent buyer’ schemes.
  • Provided edible offerings aka a book club fuelled by wine or beer and a children’s story time where the kids and adults snack on homemade cake.

What they also have in common is a rigorous approach to marketing – both online and offline. Now is the time to ramp up your marketing, not least because of the economic uncertainty caused by the B-word but also because the summer can be a tricky time for many businesses.

For advice on how printed materials can give a boost to your business, call the team at Face Media Group on 0333 8000 888.


Photo by Jacek Dylag on Unsplash

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Jim Cunliffe Profile Picture
Jim Cunliffe Head of Customer Love
Jim is a prolific networker, small business mentor and a supporter of anything 'community'. He is an ambassador for the National Apprenticeship Service (NAS/SFA) and Young Enterprise on the South Coast. Jim is the Area Leader (Sussex) for FSB (Federation of Small Business) for 2019-2021 and President of BNI Pavilion (Brighton) - What a busy lad! He loves to spend his time encouraging entrepreneurial spirit in everyone he meets. And when it comes to print, there's nothing Jim doesn't know about quality design, ink on paper, promotional gifts and branded clothing. He's an expert in all things branding.