I’m exploring the possibility of opening an independent retail book store. Does anyone have suggestions on where I can begin my research on this industry in particular?
Honestly, I wouldn’t recommend it. I worked for 13 years for Ingram Book Company, the biggest book distributor in the country. Mom & pops are being slammed, not only by Wal-mart (like so many other kinds of retail sales) but also by the big chain stores. Barnes & Noble routinely discounts all best-sellers, plus they have the money and space to carry a breadth of titles most independants simply can’t afford. The chains are also tryig to be more customer-friendly, with cafes and cushy chairs inviting folks to settle in and by doing special orders and book signings and special events for big titles like Harry Potter.
If you’re still interested, you might start by contacting the American Booksellers Association (assuming you’re American, of course). If you contact Ingram Book Company, their sales department can help you figure out your opening store inventory, can ship the books by category for easier shelving, help with computer inventory systems. Ingram’s website is www.ingrambook.com. I don’t know about the ABA’s website.
Hope this helps.
It does help; thanks. And believe me, I wouldn’t consider it if I couldn’t develop a distinct position vs. the big stores…