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Shadrack22 - 02 Dec 2019 06:34:43 (#1 of 46)

I’m not aware of one in my city. Most of mine come from Waterstone’s, Oxfam Books or eBay.

ReverendBlueJeans - 11 Dec 2019 14:26:14 (#2 of 46)

Cities are not good places for indy bookshops as they tend to promote chains - whether it's clothing, Waterstones or Wetherspoons. Though Edinburgh has a surprising number.

Small towns/villages sustaining at least one indy - Linlithgow, Melrose, St Boswells, Grasmere, Ambleside, Aberfeldy, Fort William.

If you see an indy, buy stuff from them. It's your duty.

Tomnoddy - 24 Dec 2019 00:29:30 (#3 of 46)

Oxfam Books is a prime reason for the decline in secondhand bookshops. I am not a fan.

Verdigris - 24 Dec 2019 07:09:08 (#4 of 46)

My local town has a community bookshop. I presume it is doing fairly well as it has moved from an end-of-High Street location to a more central shop.

There is also a LibDem secondhand bookshop although the rather grand Liberal Club is now a 'Spoons named after a genocidalist general.

HerrWalrus - 24 Dec 2019 08:38:04 (#5 of 46)

Our xmas sales are down 50 % on last year. Part of that is the big decline in EU residents - those that are still here are saving in case they are forced out. Tourism to London generally is down because of that, and I’ve noticed smaller queues at Mde Tussauds and the Sherlock museum. We do have some Airbnb experience bookings this winter though.

uranrising - 24 Dec 2019 10:23:55 (#6 of 46)

I assume this thread is about those selling new books.

HerrWalrus - 24 Dec 2019 10:29:31 (#7 of 46)

We sell both used and new books. Ok so the new books tend to be remainder imports or Wordsworth classics, but it does mean our prices are as cheap as you'll find in any London bookshop. I would have assumed that would meet with your approval uran?

levelgaze - 24 Dec 2019 10:38:19 (#8 of 46)

We have a new high street business, and book selling is a major part of it - it's a combined shop/cafe/venue, themed around poetry and wellbeing. Business is quite brisk, and books sell well.

There are good indys in this region - Booka Books in Oswestry, Aardvark Books in the middle of nowhere. Wenlock Books closed recently on the owner's retirement, although she was feeling the pinch as well, with high overheads.

HerrWalrus - 24 Dec 2019 10:45:51 (#9 of 46)

Expanding on LG's point, it's difficult to find a venue in the right location without falling foul of high rent/rates. If you choose a cheaper location then you lose sales due to lower footfall. In the summer we heard rumours that the Stoke Newington shop owner was thinking of calling it a day. But when we went over to visit him (and offer to take over the shop) he said he'd changed his mind. His rent was three times what we pay - but his sales on a Saturday or Sunday are on average ten times higher.

uranrising - 24 Dec 2019 10:47:30 (#10 of 46)

Blimey, I managed to overlook completely, HerrW , that 'twas me that started this.

I'don't have thought a bigger cause than Oxfam is **zon, where prices are apparently frequently rock-bottom.

col2001 - 24 Dec 2019 10:52:09 (#11 of 46)

Rent does seem to be the suffocating factor.

My hometown has huge numbers of empty shops. If market forces applied, they'd all be occupied.

levelgaze - 24 Dec 2019 10:55:59 (#12 of 46)

Yes. We bought a long closed-down ironmonger’s with a house stuck on the back. The total price for the property was what we would have spent on a house, so it works.

levelgaze - 24 Dec 2019 10:56:58 (#13 of 46)

Took 2 years to find a mortgage lender, though. Complicated purchase.

uranrising - 24 Dec 2019 10:57:01 (#14 of 46)

How does rent get to be not part of the market?

HoHoHoff - 24 Dec 2019 11:02:29 (#15 of 46)

By costing the same as a house, with a house attached?

Assuming you can pay the mortgage

col2001 - 24 Dec 2019 11:09:59 (#16 of 46)

Uran - I think it goes like this. Someone correct me if wrong.

Commercial landlords own lots of shops. They seek to bump up the rent. Partly just because but - crucially - partly because they borrowed the money to buy the properties and need to pay back the interest (and make lots of profit if they can, natch).

Bumping up rent causes some tenants to cling on. Others give it up.

Ok, some other tenants will give it a go at those rents but many can't.

The shops remain empty. If market forces worked, the landlord would reduce the rents to fill them. After all, some money is better than no money?

Here's the problem. The way accounting rules work, if the landlord drops the rent in one place, they have to reduce their projected yield for similar properties. But if they do this, the numbers won't add up: they won't project enough rental income to cover their debts. This would break banking covenants.

So, bizarrely, they prefer to keep rents high even if nobody takes the place.

But in this case, why don't these property companies go under?

Well, the banks don't want them to go under. They lose money and end up the proud owners of the properties and they don't want to. And there are huge knock-on problems. Not least is a collapse in the commercial property market.

So these zombie property companies stagger on. They have income and the debts just creep upwards.

Meanwhile, shops sit empty.

uranrising - 24 Dec 2019 11:17:50 (#17 of 46)

Thanks very much, col. Very clear.

And presumably, in capitalistspeak, everything you mention would be described as a part of the market; just somewhat of a variant on the typical model.

col2001 - 24 Dec 2019 11:22:52 (#18 of 46)

Oh, yeah.

It's market forces, I guess... but with some added peculiar factors.

It's distressing because it has a horrible, dampening effect on high-streets, towns and the economy.

Just imagine if all those shops were available at £10 per month...

People would just try stuff. Good for them, good for footfall, for the town etc, etc...

Not possible, because banks were allowed to create their own debt. Tasselhof is good on the subject.

dreams99 - 17 Aug 2021 07:47:20 (#19 of 46)

HerrWalrus - 17 Aug 2021 09:51:34 (#20 of 46)

Not sure I get that. The illustration for a book looks a little like a photo of an existing bookshop, who is crying foul because the picture is not attributed?

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