Bricks and mortar booksellers have been pondering the ramifications of the Internet since e-commerce began. Low overhead costs and practically limitless inventory have allowed for deeper and deeper discounts from online retailers while their in-person counterparts either taking a substantial revenue hit or lose price-conscious customers.
But what happens when a community goes local? Can demand from consumers for local products and local economic growth drive purchasing back into the neighbourhood bookstore and away from the online spend?
June’s Business Alliance for Local Living Economies conference in Boston drew booksellers from across the US to talk about how focusing on sustainability issues and community growth can help build customer bases. BALLE founder, quoted in Publishers Weekly, says “We believe the Local First campaigns are tailor-made for booksellers. Booksellers are our number-one industry in leading these campaigns.”