Hamish Alcorn and Dawn Albiner of Archives Fine Books launched an e-commerce portal for their store to boost sales last year.
Photo: Attila CsaszarBut when sales of e-books hit 20 per cent and refused to go higher, the narrative turned more upbeat. Until recently, that is, when a series of landmark bookshops began closing their doors up and down the east coast.
After 46 years serving Sydney's north shore, Lindfield Bookshop will close on August 24. In Mosman, Pages and Pages will end 20 years of trading in September, citing a looming recession. And Dymocks in Sydney's Lane Cove closed abruptly last month when the landlord retook possession,
In Melbourne, Embiggen Books shut its doors in June. In Brisbane a couple of secondhand bookstores have closed in recent months. And academic text specialist Co-op has closed more than two dozen stores since 2015.
It sounds like a tragedy. But despite the spate of recent closures, there is some cause for optimism...
With generational change, digital investment will become more important for retailers as more consumers move online, Ms Sanders said. Those able to seamlessly integrate their online and offline presence will be most likely to succeed.
But for smaller independent bookshop owners, a shortage of time and money means any significant investment is out of reach.
"You need an online presence in some form or another, even if your web store isn't the primary driver of sales, It's just that's the way the world runs now," said Australian Booksellers Association chief executive Robbie Egan.
Source: The Australian Financial Review