Big Green Bookshop reaches 96% of its financial target

Big Green Bookshop reaches 96% of its financial target

The Big Green Bookshop is celebrating after achieving 96% of its path to financial safety.

The indie retailer based in Wood Green, north London, sent out a mass appeal to its customers a month ago asking them to buy one extra book to mark the shop's third anniversary and help secure its future viability.

At the time, owners Simon Key and Tim West, former Wood Green Waterstone's managers, said they "couldn't have another nine months like the last". The pair also have nine months left to pay off a bank loan they used to found the shop—their largest significant financial burden.

Key created a "struggleometer" bar on the bookshop's website to give customers an indication of the appeal's success rate, However, after the weekend's trading, the independent is close to hitting its target.

West said: "The appeal has worked, we are very happy and very grateful to everyone who supported us. It means we are now in a comfortable position to continue to pay the loan off. I think the whole appeal has done some good for indie bookshops in general and made people think harder about going to buy books from their local book store."

West said the shop was supported by its regular customers, people who had read about its situation from as far away as America and many individuals from the publishing industry.

The Society of Young Publishers held a social event in the store to boost the fundraising push and authors such as David Nicholls and Adam Foulds have donated signed copies of books for a future online auction.

Average sales have rocketed by 45% year-on year following the appeal and online book sales have risen from two books a week to 20 books a week.

"The question now is how to sustain it, because times can always change quite quickly," West added.