As a reader I really want to see the high street bookshops endure and thrive. They're cool, they're useful and frankly, I think we'd all lose if they went bust. 

But here's the thing - I find it easier, quicker and cheaper to go online bookshops and buy there. (Not to mention, that going online can be way more fun and informative too).

More to the point, this is exactly why high street book stores are closing down. So, what can the bookshop chains do to get us to buy in a store rather than online?

"Readers don't owe book chains a living. 
Book chains need to give us a reason to buy from them." 

Take Waterstones...
In the UK, Waterstones has just had a major restructure in its stores that has sadly seen many branch managers let go. Their Managing Director has said that the company's emphasis will now be on selling more books (and therefore selling it's way out of trouble). 

But how exactly?

I mean, how are Waterstone's going  to: 

a) get me to take time out of my day and get me into their store in the first place and
b) persuade me that I'll get a better deal buying from them then buying online? 

I'll tell you something - right now, they don't offer me any compelling reason  to go visit them at all - and I say that as a customer, and someone who buys print books. 



What Are They There For?
I think Waterstones, like other major brick-and-mortar book chain stores really need to look at themselves in the mirror. 

They need to work out why people should visit them, and once they have, provide an experience that consumers will actively want to have and pay for. And it's a challenge, no doubt about it. But if they don't figure what special place they need to occupy in our hearts then they will eventually disappear - and we will all be the poorer for it.

Anyway, what do you think?

A.M.

 





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