French government lauds independents

French government lauds independents

Paris bookshop Shakespeare & Co is among the 46 bookshops to be nationally recognised as libraires indépendantes de référence (LIR).

The benchmark award was launched by French culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand and brings to 514 the total number of label recipients since the scheme was launched in April 2009. Booksellers have to fulful several criteria to qualify for the LIR. These include deriving at least half their turnover from the sale of books, proof of independence, diversity of stock, the quality of staff and services, and a strong programme of events. The scheme covers small and medium-sized outlets in towns of all sizes.

The scheme aims to maintain the national network of independents in France, which is increasingly fragile financially as competition from the internet and other forms of retailing takes its toll.