Keeping afloat

Julianna Bonnett
By Julianna Bonnett October 13, 2017 11:51

Keeping afloat

Tina Lyons-Hagen at Biblioasis in Windsor on Oct. 11, 2017 (Photo by: Julianna Bonnett)

Tina Lyons-Hagen at Biblioasis in Windsor on Oct. 11, 2017 (Photo by: Julianna Bonnett)

By Julianna Bonnett

Independent book stores in the Windsor area are holding their own when it comes to competition from big book chains.

With only a few independent bookstores in the Windsor area, including Biblioasis, Juniper, Storytellers Book Store, PB Books and more, it is a wonder how local book stores are able to keep afloat.

Roger Wuudermann is the owner of Juniper Rare and Used Books and said that big book chains do not intimidate him.

“Indigo and other online retailers don’t offer what we and other bookstores can offer. Here at Juniper we offer rare books like first edition Tom Sawyer books and Shakespeare books,” Wurdemann said.

Wurdemann said big chains offer books that just recently came out, but local independent book stores offer more than just new releases.

According to Indigo’s annual revenue report, revenue growth reports that total revenue increased by $26 million or 2.6 per cent compared to the previous year. The growth was driven by continued double digit increase in general merchandise like Harry Potter and the Cursed Child and more. Comparable sales, which include both online and in store sales, increased by 4.1 per cent in the year.

Double- digit growth sales of general merchandise such as toys and lifestyle products have also helped Indigo’s revenue to grow higher throughout the year.

“Our great customer service is what makes our business so unique,” said Lynda Ward, owner of Storytellers Book Store.

“We have great customers that support our business. We offer many charity events through our bookstore which I think is one of the reasons why people keep coming back.  I can read one on one with a child that comes in with their parents, that’s something online retailers can’t offer,” said Ward.

According to Authorearnings.com, Indigo’s online e-books are being sold at twice the rate of printed books. Additionally, a significant number of hardcover books are sold online for a cheaper price.

Tina Lyons- Hagen is an employee at Biblioasis and said what sets them apart from big book chains is their personalized services.

“Aside from being a bookstore we are also a literary press. Our publications have won numerous awards. Biblioasis is an internationally recognized player in the publishing scene. In store, we carry works by local authors, alongside international bestsellers and rare, collectible and antiquarian titles,” said Lyons-Hagen.

Lyons- Hagen said everyone who works at Biblioasis is passionate about books and can offer sincere suggestions and recommendations on books and authors.

According to Lyons-Hagen, “Being an independent bookstore anywhere is hard, but in a way, it’s easier in Windsor because we have the support of the community and we’re very grateful for that.”

Julianna Bonnett
By Julianna Bonnett October 13, 2017 11:51

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