Britain, despite the sheer and utter stupidity of its political life, seems to be re-embracing the independent bookstore while the larger chains wane. It’s the Circle of Death.
At the Booksellers Association, managing director Meryl Halls welcomed the third year of growth in indie numbers, although she pointed out that it comes against a tough backdrop of online competition, rent and business-rate rises, and uncertainty around Brexit. And even with the increase, there are still less than half the number of independent booksellers in the UK and Ireland today than in 1995, when there were 1,894 stores.
“It is very heartening,” said Halls. “This is testament to the creativity, passion and hard work of our booksellers, who continue to excel in challenging circumstances, particularly those wider high-street challenges which so often see bookshops outperforming their high-street peers.”