The last independent bookshop in the Forest of Dean is set to close after 40 years.
The Forest Bookshop in Coleford, the only remaining independent bookshop in the Forest of Dean in Gloucestershire, is closing its doors after 40 years due to competition from online retailers and unfavourable conditions for shoppers. Septuagenarian owner Douglas McLean explained on The Forest Bookshop’s website that online book services and the introduction of parking charges in the town in 2012 were forcing him to shut up shop.
He said: ”It is with a heavy heart that I have to announce that the multi-award winning Forest Bookshop, after nearly 40 years trading in Coleford, is soon to close. At almost 75-years-old, I have tried to retire but people just aren't buying bookshops these days.”
The Bookseller reported on Monday (30th March) that 48 independent booksellers had closed last year and the rate of decline among indies continues.
McLean added: “Moreover, on-line bookshops are a growing problem for all independents. Against all the odds, we have countered the threat by providing excellent knowledgeable service and choice. We have kept many of our loyal customers, but the very day the parking charges were introduced in Coleford our footfall plummeted, as it did for other local retailers. However, the past 40 bookselling years have seen the happiest of times. We've had some wonderful events, superb books have passed through our hands, we've worked closely with local authors and the Forest community and met so many interesting people. I would like to say a huge thank you to all our amazing staff, past and present, and to all the Bookshop's friends and loyal customers wherever they are."
The Forest Bookshop, was opened in 1976, was the Forest of Dean’s first “real” bookshop. It is now running a "Grand 50%-off 'Thank You' Closing Sale."