The resurgence of independent bookselling is set to become a “contagious” global trend, Oren Teicher, c.e.o. of the American Booksellers Association (ABA), has said.
The increase in the number of indie booksellers in the US shows no sign of abating, Teicher said, with the sector stronger and more ”engaged” than it has been “in some time”. He added: “We believe that resurgence is contagious, and think it is going to happen around the world.”
Teicher reported that the number of indie members of the ABA in the first quarter of 2016 had further improved on the gains made in 2015, a “great year” in which volume sales were up almost 10%. He attributed the resurgence to a strong “localism movement” in the US, as well as publisher initiatives and smarter use of technology.
However, he said the indie sector had also experienced challenges in the shape of minimum wage increases, higher rents and growth in online competition.
“If I had a dollar for every time we were counted out, I’d be a pretty wealthy man,” Teicher said. “We’re hanging in, we’re fighting back. We’ve got some challenges but we’re absolutely convinced there is a long-term, viable road ahead for independent physical bookshops.”