Independents unite to survive

<p>The independent sector is not an easy place to be in 2006. In fact, the future of independent booksellers has come under so much pressure over recent years that a group of 100 bookshops have banded together in a buying consortium to negotiate terms on a par with those secured by their big chain, online and supermarket rivals. </p><p>Tim Walker, who owns six bookshops across Leicestershire, Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire, announced the initiative with wholesaler THE at the BA's Small Business Forum on 14th September. </p><p>"We are under pressure to discount to sell books. We are in danger of losing customers and margin," Walker told fellow independents at the SBF. "We will never undercut the supermarkets, but with better terms from publishers we can compete against the supermarkets and chains." </p><p>The independent buying co-operative