The big business question: In the age of the Kindle, what is the future of the book shop?

A former pharmaceutical manufacturer and TV and film extra, Tan Dillon has bought a business in an industry facing an uncertain future.

E-readers

"With children's books, you're not going to get on a Kindle, because a kid needs to touch a feel books. So the kids books are part of the book business that is still expanding, kids need books, not Kindles up to about 10 or 12 years old. 

  Why does this matter?

With the growing popularity of e-readers and online retailers offering paper books at a huge discount, the future of the bricks-and-mortar book shop is under considerable threat, with many analysts claiming that it is only a matter of time before the industry collapses.    

"But more and more adults are buying books on Kindles. It doesn't do anything for me, personally, but I think it's like having a blow-up doll instead of having a real woman, you know - strange analogy - I know! 

"You have to be aware that more and more people are buying on Kindles, but some people who come here do a bit of both: they buy stuff on Kindles if they're going on holiday and they'll still buy books on paper, perhaps not as much as they use to, but they are doing a bit of both. Some people have just gone straight over to the e-readers."

Online retailers

"And then there's the threat from people like Amazon, who manage to manage to sell £4billion in the UK, but hardly any tax. I don't know that really works out! £4billion, that's a hell of a lot in sales, and yet they had more in grants than they paid in tax last year! 

"The big boys have a lot of pull on governments, it's not a level playing field, but it's the same for everyone else, so you just have to try and develop the business, do more promotions. You have to have a thick skin."

It's not a level playing field, but it's the same for everyone else, so you just have to try and develop the business.

Supermarkets

"Even the supermarkets some of the bestsellers, they sell at a loss - they're loss leaders. But you can't do that, you know. You don't even get them for that price. It's just something you have to learn to live with, if it carries on like this, you will still have bookshops in the country, but what you'll have is bookshops that sell, say, kids books, and they might have some adult books, but they will start selling second hand books.

"Most of the second hand bookshops are doing well. That's something I may have to start doing in the future. More and more bookshops do that."

 
 

1 comment about this article

comment by parviz Haghibostanabad
I have investment in the istanbol or working .busines export and import.

Have your say

* Denotes a required field

  1. Yes, I want to use these details every time

  2. I have read and accept the terms and conditions

  •  

Useful Links

 

Related Articles

  1. ...is it time to find a new accountant, asks Graham Tripp - here's how to decide.
  2. Nearly half of out-of-work-mothers are seriously considering starting a business.
  3. How can technology buyers find out if prospective providers are really committed to meeting their needs?
  4. Securing customers is a challenge outstripped by that of satisfying banks, suppliers and the government.
  5. Whether recently redundant, long-term unemployed or entering the job market for the first time, here's some advice.