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Press Release: Miscellaneous Announcements
Booksellers Association Announces 2012 Membership Numbers

Posted at 3:32PM Friday 22 Feb 2013



Long established community bookshops suffer, while children's bookshops buck the trend.

In 2012, among BA membership:

· 73 bookshops closed

· 39 bookshops opened

· 1,028 independent bookshop members

· 3580 bookshop members in total

The Booksellers Association is calling for the publishing industry and government to act urgently to improve conditions for booksellers on the high street.

The call to action follows new figures released today that show another 73 independent bookshops closed on the UK high streets last year.

Tim Godfray, CEO, The Booksellers Association, said:

"Closures are always painful and we were saddened to see many bookshops closing last year. The balance of risk in bookselling has changed for good and now sits disproportionately with the bookseller. We are committed to helping booksellers work closely with publishers to explore new business models to ensure that bookshops continue to have a lively presence on our high streets. Bookshops are important community and cultural hubs, which also provide an important educational resource for all.

Sadly, the overall picture in terms of the number of independent booksellers in the UK is still one of contraction but the BA is committed to finding practical solutions and promoting industry interaction.

The BA will continue with its fight to Keep Books on the High Street in 2013 through its lobbying work and on-going support to booksellers, from providing engaging Point of Sales such as The Christmas Books catalogue, celebrating Independent Booksellers Week, and offering partner services such as the Kobo e-reader offer for those who want to experiment with ebooks. Most importantly, we will look towards the positive examples of new and emerging booksellers that are kicking down barriers and fighting back."

Among the 2012 closures were long-established community bookshops including Walkers in the East Midlands, Langtons, Twickenham and Bay Tree Books, Waterlooville. The Christian bookselling market continued to decline as Wesley Owen shops and a number of independent Christian shops also shut down.

Although the number of closures has remained at the same level since 2010, there has been an increase in independent bookshop openings with 39 new openings in 2012, up from 36 in 2011. The second half of 2012 saw a particular improvement with 24 independent bookshops opening, compared to 15 in the first half of the year.

Children's bookshops continued to be vital channels for book discovery with no reported closures in 2012 and the opening of two new specialist bookshops; Chicken and Frog, Brentwood and Pickled Pepper, Crouch End, both breathing new life into their high streets.

2012 also introduced a new wave of booksellers going against the odds and opening up new shops, despite difficult economic times.

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