Is It Worth Investing In An Independent Bookshop?

Written by Chloe Harwood

Online shopping has changed the face of retail in every way. Anyone looking to open a shop now fights against the convenience of the internet. While some retail divisions, such as clothes and food stores, have managed to continue unhindered, others haven’t fared well. Music shops are a prime example of a dying breed, with many closing due to low prices on sites like Amazon. And, only a few years ago, the same fate looked to be greeting independent bookshops as the Kindle stormed into people’s hearts.

But, the situation looks set to change. So much so that an independent bookshop now looks to be a pretty solid business opportunity. If you’re on the lookout for an enterprise, this is worth considering. As proof, consider that Ebook sales have dropped 17% this year. Why? In part, publishers are putting more money into production. Books are more beautiful than they’ve ever been, with naked hardbacks and gold foiling. Also, it seems you really can’t beat browsing in a bookshop.

Of course, opening a successful indie bookstore isn’t all plain sailing. If you want to find success in this field, it’s worth considering the following points.

Consider the costs

As with any business, there are startup costs involved. You need to find a retail space which is in a good position. Plus, you need to buy in new release books to stay current. These aren’t cheap. But, by keeping your starting stock fairly modest, this should be doable. It may also be worth researching startup loans on sites like The ever-increasing popularity of independent bookshops is sure to set you on sound footing for acceptance. Then, you’ll be able to impress from the off with a large range of books.

Avoid a turf war

The main appeal about independent bookstores is their sense of community. Customers are loyal. Their local independent is more than just a shop to them. It becomes a comforting place, where they can meet like-minded individuals and talk with friends. In this way, the bookshop business varies from most retail stores. Customers might spend a whole afternoon without buying, and that’s okay. But, with this in mind, it’s essential you don’t set up on another store’s turf. Not only will you find it harder to gain success this way, but you’ll also annoy local booklovers. Not what you want. Make sure to set up somewhere without another store nearby by entering your preferred locations into a bookshop search like this one found at Keep searching until you find somewhere without an existing store!

Offer more than books

As mentioned above, successful bookstores are now about much more than the books they sell. To make yourself stand out, you need to create a community. As such, it’s worth offering more than books. It might be worth incorporating a cafe, so readers can sit and enjoy their purchases. Or, you might want to focus on author events and so on. You could even operate a bookshop reading group!

About the author

Chloe Harwood