Customers should spend '20% in small stores'

Customers should spend '20% in small stores'

Consumers should aim to make 10-20% of their purchases at independent shops, Saltaire Bookshop owner David Ford has said.

Ford revealed last week that his bookshop based in the West Yorkshire village would close in six months unless trade improved after takings dropped to just £2 a day.

The bookseller, who is also chairman of the Saltaire Traders Association, said that while trade had picked up slightly following the appeal, it had not yet increased to levels that would save the shop from closure.

He said: “It has been up and down. Last week we had a couple of good days then there were a couple of bad days. There hasn’t been a huge surge in people or anything, its just been a bit better. I have has people coming in saying ‘I want to support you’ and I have received a lot of support on social media, which has been very welcome.

"But the truth is the only thing that will keep us open is if people shop with us. Unless the word gets out around the country about people supporting their local bookshops then more and more will close."

He added: “The same thing is happening to other shops. The magic bullet is people need to stop using online shops and supermarkets for all their purchases and start using small shops. If 10-20% of spending went on in small shops it would have a huge impact on those retailers. It is not rocket science. You can get some very good deals at independent shops, which people don’t seem to realise. Some of my prices, especially on the second hand books, are much cheaper than online.”

Ford said indies needed to come up with a way of competing with the "convenience" of shopping online.

Last week he tweeted to his followers: “Six month countdown begins today - unless we start getting more customers x.”

Last year Saltaire Bookshop hit the national press headlines after launching a plea for customers on Facebook after taking just £7.50 in one day and was met with a rush of custom in response.