Bookstore Owners: How To Increase Revenue

UK bookstores have faced a difficult couple of years, but there are signs that things have begun to turn a corner. The public have been lured by the efficiency of online book shopping, but if the growth of book shops in the past couple of years is to be believed, then that same public is now yearning for those cosy, intimate spaces.

Of course, that’s not to say that bookstore owners are enjoying a boom period. Things are better, but building long-term revenues is still a challenge. To secure their future, bookstore owners should look at striking while the iron is hot. Below, we’ll run through a few ideas that can help attract more business to your store and ultimately build revenue.

Host Readings and Other Events

People don’t just like reading books; they also like existing in a world of books. As they say, it’s a lifestyle. Bookstores can cement themselves as the literary powerhouse of the town and get fresh faces through the door by hosting readings, book signings, and other events. The more people visit your store, the more likely it is that they’ll make a purchase at some point in the future. As well as obvious book-related events, you may also host intimate concerts — a candlelit singer-songwriter performance with wine will always attract attention.

Diversify Your Offerings

You’ll have your favourite book genres. Other people will have theirs. Diversifying your stock can be a great way to get people interested in your business. Taking a few risks, such as having a section dedicated to a specific niche, can also be effective.

Sell Additional Products

Books might be your main line of business, but they don’t have to be the only thing you’ll sell. There are some natural additional products that would make sense to sell in a bookstore. For example, if coffee shops can sell books, then you can sell coffee. It’s relatively easy to get a small café underway; you can find a good coffee machine from a commercial catering equipment supplier, add a few tables and chairs, and partner with a food supplier, and you’ll have the framework for generating additional profit. You may also consider selling stationary and journals, both of which are popular sellers.

Refresh Décor

As we mentioned above, the public is showing signs that they’re happy to return to real-world bookstores. However, there’s a catch — in many cases, it’s the decor and ambiance that they’re drawn to as much as the book selection. People want to shop in stores that are wooden, cosy, and broadly “literary.” If your store doesn’t match that description, then consider giving it a refresh.

Market Your Uniqueness

Finally, focus on what makes your business unique — and promote it to the world. Bookstores have more licence than other businesses to deviate from the path. Plus, as an independent bookstore owner, you have a clear advantage over chain bookstores, which have to work within a more rigid framework. Use that as the foundation for moving your business forward.