Fellow Booksellers Urge Participation in ABACUS Survey

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“An incredible resource.” “An invaluable tool.” “Like having your own numbers consultant at your fingertips.” “The rewards are overwhelming.”

These are just some of the positive things that ABA member booksellers have to say about ABACUS, the members-only financial survey and analysis; read more bookseller comments here.

ABACUS is a yearly survey that gathers key information on store financial operations to provide booksellers with benchmarking goals and insights. The participation of hundreds of ABA members results in data that can be used to help improve business operations and profitability. ABACUS data also helps ABA formulate future educational programming.

Jessica Stockton Bagnulo of Greenlight Bookstore in Brooklyn, New York, said, “I don’t know if bookstores realize what an incredible resource ABACUS is — one that’s not available in every industry, and one that I think has helped to fuel the resurgence of indie bookstores in recent years.”

Stockton Bagnulo noted that ABACUS helped her and her business partner, Rebecca Fitting, create financial projections for Greenlight’s initial business plan. “Having hard data from hundreds of stores nationwide made our sales and expense estimates more realistic and convinced potential lenders, landlords, etc. that we did, in fact, know what we were doing,” she said.

Now that Greenlight is a well-established business, Stockton Bagnulo added, “We spend time every year looking at our ABACUS report, for what it tells us about our own company’s financial trends and how they compare to other stores and markets. This analysis has helped us to make informed decisions about our business, from creating yearly budget projections to making changes to our practices and infrastructure.”

Stockton Bagnulo urged fellow booksellers to participate in this year’s survey, noting that “the data is only as good as the stores that participate — the more of us that take part, the more useful this excellent tool can be!”

To submit data to the ABACUS-15 survey, booksellers should look for the e-mail sent to them on May 26 from Martha Love of the National Association of College Stores’ (NACS) OnCampus Research with the subject line “Ready, Set, ABACUS — Survey Now Open.” The e-mail includes a link to the secure online ABACUS submission form, introductory information, and instructions and FAQs.

Booksellers with questions about submitting data to the survey should contact Love at OnCampus Research via e-mail at mlove@nacs.org or call (800) 622-7498, ext. 2448. Booksellers who have general questions about ABACUS should contact ABA’s Lisa Winn via e-mail or at (800) 637-0037, ext. 7557.