Books / Bookshops

You can support two of Bristol’s bookshops from home

By Lowie Trevena, Monday Nov 2, 2020

Storysmith and Max Minerva’s are among the independent bookstores to sign up to new online platform Bookshop.

130 bookstores across the UK have signed up to the online shop, which lets customers support local businesses from their homes.

Bookshop, which aims to support independent booksellers in the run up to Christmas, and beyond, will ensure the 130 stores receive the full profit margin, 30 per cent of the cover price, from each sale.

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Which each book listed on the site sold with a small discount and delivered in two or three working days, the platform hopes to be an alternative to Amazon in the run up to the festive season and into the new year.

In what has already been a challenging year for local stores, and with the return of lockdown, Max Minerva’s co-owner Jess Taylor described the platform as a “game-changer”.

Henleaze’s Max Minerva’s are one of two bookshops in Bristol signed up to the new platform. Photo: Max Minerva’s

“Bookshop doesn’t work on algorithms, just curated lists by humans who love books,” Jess adds. “It’s a way for those who want to shop online to do so while supporting indies.”

UK managing director of Bookshop, Nicole Vanderbilt says: “At a time when Amazon has enjoyed even greater advantage over high street competitors as a result of the pandemic, Bookshop.org offers a socially conscious alternative to customers wishing to shop online.”

Bookshop offers independent bookshops another revenue stream, without any financial investment on the bookseller’s part, as all customer service and shipping will be handled by the platform. 130 sellers signed up within the first two weeks of its launch, with another 200 expected to sign up by the end of 2020.

“Bookshops are essential to a healthy culture, and online sales are vital to safeguarding their future,” says Bookshop founder and CEO, Andy Hunter. “We can’t afford to lose them.”

Storysmith in Southville has also signed up to the new venture. Photo: Jon Craig

“Covid-19 has added further urgency to the need for bookshops to compete for online sales,” Andy adds.

“Bookshop’s mission is to empower customers in supporting local, brick and mortar bookstores, providing book buyers with an easy way to shop online while continuing to support their local high street.”

Main photo: Plaster

Read more: Storysmith shortlisted for Independent Bookshop of the Year

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