Banks have been blamed for failing to support small businesses, with four more indie booksellers facing closure.
The Bookshop, Bodmin, is to shut its doors for the last time at the end of the summer, with owner Nick Weatherhead currently selling all his 20,000-title stock at half-price.
“In winter I only had two to three people coming in a day and I got behind with my books,” he said. “I wrote to the banks to help, but they wouldn’t. I told them I have £200,000 of stock and the property to put up against it but I was told: ‘Banks aren’t pawn shops you know’.”
England’s Lane Books in Hampstead, a two-year-old venture, is also closing and is selling its stock with “huge discounts” on a month-long sale; meanwhile, Tim Walker, owner of Walkers bookshops, will close one of his stores—Bourne, Lincolnshire—in August. The closures follow the demise of Badger Books in Barnoldswick, which recently wrapped up its bricks and mortar business to concentrate on sales to schools.
Meryl Halls, head of membership services at the BA, said bookshops “desperately need” support from financial institutions and local and national government “to create a business environment that allows them to operate effectively in a fiercely competitive environment”. She added: “The BA will continue to lobby, in collaboration with other trade organisations, for this support.”