An independent bookshop in the Scottish Borders has said it will close, blaming the recession and the strain on customers’ incomes. Latimer Books in Kelso, Scottish Borders, will shut up shop at the end of August after 3-and-a-half years.
The shop's co-founder and owner Norman Latimer said the business had failed to make any profit from March this year, but did not blame competition from internet booksellers for the decline. Latimer said: "This is recession-led. People have stopped me and said they can no longer buy new books and they are going to go to the library.
"The health board and local authority is making redundancies and people are scared of losing their jobs and don’t want to pay for discretionary items like books. We do not think it is Amazon, it is people scared to spend money."
He also blamed snowy weather over Christmas which hit the bookshop’s sales badly He said he and his wife, Jane Latimer, who helped found the bookshop, were being met with sympathy from local customers as news of their shop’s closure spreads.
Latimer added: "We are the only independent bookshop in Kelso and when we go the next nearest [indie] is 15-20 miles away." W H Smith also has a shop in Kelso.