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Bookstores Are Struggling. Is a New E-Commerce Site the Answer?

The New York Times – “The rapid rise of during the shutdown has been hailed as a boon for independent stores. But some booksellers worry it could become another competitor for online business…..Now Bookshop is on track to exceed $40 million in sales this year, blowing past the sum that Mr. Hunter initially hoped to reach by 2022. The site sold some $4.5 million of books in May, and more than $7 million in the first two weeks of June. More than 750 bookstores have joined, and Bookshop has generated more than $3.6 million for stores. The company is preparing to expand its operations to Britain later this year, where it plans to partner with the book wholesaler Gardners…Mr. Hunter is bullish about the potential for post-pandemic growth. The American Booksellers Association has more than 1,880 member stores, and about 40 percent of them have started using Bookshop. There’s also more ground to gain with customers: Just 21 percent of book buyers who shop at independent stores had heard of Bookshop, according to a survey of more than 4,000 people conducted by the Codex Group in late April. “If it’s sticky and it lasts beyond this Covid crisis, it’s going to really help bookstores thrive,” Mr. Hunter said…”

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