With the resurgence of print and the leveling off of e-books sales, indie bookstores are testing new business models, scouting new locations, and
turning their stores into minichains to grow their businesses.
In March, Copperfield’s Books, based in Sebastopol,
Calif., opened a new store in Novato, its eighth. Next month,
Books Inc., headquartered in San Francisco, will add its 11th
in Silicon Valley. In the fall, Book World, headquartered in
Appleton, Wis., will open its largest store, its 45th, a 6,000-
sq.-ft. location in DeKalb, Ill. And by the year’s end, Dallas-based Half Price Books, the country’s largest indie chain, will
have 125 stores in 17 states.
“It’s basically a matter of taking what one knows and leveraging your strengths,” said Mitchell Kaplan, founder of the
34-year-old Books & Books, headquartered in Coral Gables, Fla.
“I’ve learned to say, ‘Why not?’ ”
That’s how Kaplan ended up branching into film production,
opening a small press, and piloting a hybrid bookstore in Miami
last month with No Boundaries Sport, a bicycle store across the
street from Kaplan’s flagship location, and with graffiti artist
David “Lebo” Le Batard. The result is Books+Books+Bikes+Lebo.
Kaplan, who believes that the local aspect of an independent is
extremely important, has also formed affiliate relationships with
four stores not directly in his area, including the Books & Books
in Westhampton Beach, N. Y. He owns five stores.
“We’ve had top-line growth every year for the past six years,”
said Mark Wilson, CEO of Joseph-Beth Booksellers. Yet he is
concerned about creating bookstore models that are flexible
enough to absorb what he regards as “curveballs,” such as the recent
Department of Labor overtime rule, which goes into effect on
Take a crash course in Chicken Soup for the Soul wisdom! Amy Newmark, former
Wall Street maven, shares her wisdom,
humor and advice, with real-life stories and
practical tips derived from her eclectic life
and from editing and writing more than
100 Chicken Soup for the Soul books.
$14.95 US / $17.95 Can.
On Sale 10/4/16
Proudly made 100% in the USA
Books+Books+Bikes+Lebo in Miami