Tue, 05/02/2013 - 08:50
Former Borders’ boss Philip Downer said his new shop Calliope Gifts had “exceeded expectations” on first day of opening.
Downer opened the 1,000 sq ft gift shop with business partner and former Borders colleague Andy Adamson yesterday (4th February) in Dorking’s St Martin’s Walk shopping centre, to catch...
Thu, 06/12/2012 - 12:10
Former Borders UK c.e.o. Philip Downer is to open a new store, selling books, gifts and other merchandise, in the spring.
The shop, named Calliope, will be opened in an undisclosed Surrey location for which the lease is currently under negotiation. Downer will run the shop in partnership with former Borders colleague...
Wed, 19/09/2012 - 11:06
Times change. Nowhere is this more clearly demonstrated than at the Booksellers Association Annual Conference.
Ah, those conferences of yore, typically at the Grand Hotel in Brighton. Squadrons of board members, buyers, marketers and (even) booksellers would pour into town from every one of the major chains. Publishing houses would...
Mon, 09/07/2012 - 10:04
In these times of rapid change, big news can race past before we have time to absorb its impact.
Sainsbury’s' acquisition of a 64% share in social reading site Anobii is a case in point—an initiative that hitherto belonged to the book...
Mon, 21/05/2012 - 16:33
Last week, I gave a presentation to the World E-Reading Congress, when I suggested that failure to diversify the distribution of book content away from Amazon and Apple would lead to walled gardens becoming super-fortresses. Today's news builds those walls...
Fri, 18/05/2012 - 09:57
Booksellers must address their "toxic" real estate and band together to compete in an "omni-channel marketplace" against some of the richest corporations the world has ever seen, former Borders UK chief executive Philip Downer has said. Bookshops, he advised, need to develop personalities because the day of the "...
Mon, 14/05/2012 - 15:45
Words change their meaning as the years roll by. You know all the familiar examples (you’re in the words business, after all), but I’ve been struck recently by the changing meaning of “legacy”. Not too long ago, a legacy was a handsome inheritance built up over a lifetime by an individual or an organisation...
Tue, 10/04/2012 - 14:24
Flagship stores define a retail brand, and set a standard that the rest of a chain aspires to imitate. Good managers fight for the chance to work in them; top brands seek to be showcased in their windows.
Bookselling has always had its flagships—Blackwell in Broad Street, and Dillons in Gower Street are perhaps the most...
Tue, 28/02/2012 - 15:02
Earlier this month, I headed off into deepest Dorset to meet some modern retailers drawing on their sector heritage. My first visit was one that I’ve promised myself for ages: store manager Claire Robertson hit the headlines in early 2009 when, refusing to accept that her Dorchester branch of Woolworths should close forever, she found a...
Wed, 01/02/2012 - 16:40
The news from the public library sector has been pretty grim in recent months, with short-sighted councils seeking to curtail—sorry, “streamline”—their library services in ways that are often antithetical to the 1964 Act. So it was a relief to turn away from the gloom towards an unabashed good news story—the...