Pritchard's fourth indie in a week to close

Pritchard's Bookshop has become the fourth independent this week to announce its closure, shutting its doors for the last time next month after 50 years of trading.

The bookshop, in Formby, near Liverpool, is the second bookshop of owner Steve Pritchard, who bought it 29 years ago after he founded the first Pritchard’s Bookshop in nearby Crosby 35 years ago. That branch will remain open and trading.

Pritchard compared the current pressures on high street booksellers to slicing off pieces on a salami. He said: "The internet is a slice here, the supermarkets are a slice there, e-books are another slice. It all adds up to mean things are very tough for independent booksellers."

Pritchard said he felt supermarkets selling books at discount prices made the biggest impact of them all. "They take away the book sales of all the popular titles which means we have had to focus on the less popular titles and providing fantastic customer service. However, Amazon also presents a good service and they have better prices."

Pritchard also said steadily increasing overheads such as business rates and rent were unsustainable. He said: "People have been very supportive, we have run lots of author events, but it is the day-to-day reality which has brought it down."

Other bookshops that announced their closure this week were The Travel Bookshop in Notting Hill, London, which is due to shut up shop in two weeks’ time, The Harbour Bookshop in Dartmouth, set to close at the end of September, and Derwent Bookshop in Cumbria, which will remain trading for another month.