The Ivybridge Bookshop has been named National Book Tokens (NBT) Newcomer of the Year 2022.
Owners Matt Steele and Wynnie Ng, who opened the Devon indie last year, have been praised for their personability and creative flair.
Alex de Berry, m.d. of NBT, said: “The Ivybridge Bookshop’s beautifully creative window displays, knowledgeable hand-selling, and welcoming environment has quickly made them a highly valued addition to the Ivybridge high street. The overall growth in independent bookshop sales in the final quarter of 2021 is clear testament to the strength of the sector and the vital role bookshops play as cornerstones of their communities.”
The Ivybridge Bookshop wins a hamper to share among the team, a trophy, and promotion to more than 400,000 book lovers via National Book Tokens’ marketing platform, Caboodle.
Its owners said of their win: “'We have had a fun first year with The Ivybridge Bookshop, becoming part of the local community and high street, and National Book Tokens have been an integral part of the business. From gift purchases to prizes, and a local primary school purchasing a gift card for each of their teachers to encourage exploring new reading, plus promotions during Independent Bookshop Week and beyond, National Book Tokens have really given us a boost. We are very happy to receive the Newcomer of the Year award.”
The announcement comes as National Book Tokens reveals that in December 2021 independent booksellers in the UK sold a higher value of National Book Tokens gift cards than ever before, driven by bookseller initiatives, a growth in overall store numbers, and the enduring popularity of National Book Tokens among independent bookshop customers.
Now in its third year, the National Book Tokens Newcomer of the Year Award is given to new bookshops based on their first year’s sales performance. The Portobello Bookshop in Edinburgh was the inaugural winner. In 2021, Darling Reads in West Yorkshire and Maldon Books in Essex were named joint winners.