Best Practices

06 Nov

Bookselling in Tough Times: Cash Flow

While the results of the presidential election have removed at least some of the uncertainty that has been hounding retailers in the ramp up to the holiday shopping season, there are, unfortunately, still plenty of questions about the economy that won't be resolved anytime soon. Having control of cash flow will be key to determining whether your business is able to handle what lies ahead.

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06 Nov

Bookselling in an Uncertain World

By Kristen McLean, Executive Director, Association of Booksellers for Children

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30 Oct

Bookselling in Tough Times: Remainders

Effective inventory management can mean the difference between having a profitable or unprofitable store. And that's why, in both good times and bad, many booksellers turn to remainders as a way to supplement and complement their inventory without breaking the bank. The benefits of selling remainders are simple but significant: They cost less and offer a higher markup.

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23 Oct

Bookselling in Tough Times: Merchandising

At any time of year, in any kind of economy, the importance of merchandising cannot be overstated. Offering customers a visually enticing and comfortable spot to shop, with the right product and title mix, can mean the difference between a profitable season and a poor one. Considering most booksellers generally do 40 percent of their business in the fourth quarter ... well, you get the drift. Merchandising is a crucial part of increasing sales and making the most of the holiday season.

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16 Oct

Bookselling in Tough Times: Staffing

During tough times, it's imperative that booksellers control costs. Payroll represents approximately 20 percent of a store's costs (while inventory constitutes 60 percent), so taking control of staffing is crucial for stores looking to weather economic turmoil. Today, in a letter to booksellers, ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz recommended taking "a look back at last year's payroll for the holiday season and comparing it with sales. If [this year's] sales are down 10 percent, then payroll should be trimmed.

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09 Oct

Bookselling in Tough Times: Marketing

This week, Carole Horne of Harvard Book Store, Casey Coonerty Protti of Bookshop Santa Cruz, and John Hugo of Andover Bookstore share their tips for marketing when money is tight and the holiday season is fast-approaching. Key among their recommendations is getting the message out that books are a great gift value.

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02 Oct

Bookselling in Tough Times: Inventory Management

There is an old axiom that books and booze are recession proof, and, unfortunately, that old saw is being tested. Wall Street is in turmoil, the economy looks to be heading for a recession, and Alan Greenspan went so far as to call the current credit crisis a "once in a century" event. Recession proof or not, faced with such economic uncertainty, booksellers, like all smart businesspeople, are looking for ways to weather a downturn in business.

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About ABA

The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.

Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.

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