Sales higher in bookshops with cafés

As Independent Booksellers Week gets into full swing, the Booksellers Association has released figures to suggest outlets with cafes are likely to have higher sales than those without.

Figures based on a survey of 40 BA members reveal that bookshops with cafes saw a 3% growth in overall turnover in 2011, whereas those without experienced a decline in sales of 5.2%. Those bookshops with cafes also experienced a 2% hike in their book sales last year, in comparison to those without cafes which had a decrease in book sales of 4%.

On average, book sales accounted for 74% of total annual turnover, with non-book sales accounting for the remaining 26%.

Meryl Halls, head of membership services at the BA, said: “Independent Booksellers Week is all about encouraging people to go into their local bookshop and engage with the great activity going on there. 

"We want customers to celebrate their local bookshop and also we want consumers to vote with their feet and use their local bookshop or risk losing it.  Bookshops are social and cultural hubs and provide far more to communities than books and as such deserve and require strong action to preserve their unique role in British life."

A study of BA members meanwhile also showed that while 73 bookshops closed last year bringing the total BA membership to 1,094, children’s bookshops performed better in the market, with none shutting.

BA c.e.o. Tim Godfray said: “While 2011 saw a continued reduction in high street bookshops on Britain’s high streets and campuses, no children’s bookshops closed
during the year. Overall 73 independent bookshops closed in 2011 and
36 opened – all openings were in the second half of the year (July-December). In the same period 40 children’s bookshops continued trading and one merged into the owners’ main store.”