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Booksellers want to face Amazon

The sector, which experiences a slowdown in its recovery, studies its options in the face of the push of electronic commerce

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Booksellers want to face Amazon

"The solitary ones tend to zero, while many unite, though by small ties, make great power. Even, to compete with or ones and zeros. " The reflection of Madrid bookseller Jesús Trueba is an appeal to unity of sector to cope with growth that electronic commerce has been experiencing from hands of giants like Amazon. "In Spain, online sale of books represents between 13% and 15%, between digital and paper", figures editor Patxi Beascoa. "In a few years, France has gone from 8% to 18%; In Italy, from 5% to 14%; And in Germany, from 10% to 17%, "adds director of Madrid Book Fair, Manuel Gil. The digital paradigm and voracious competition is one of great challenges faced by se professionals and has been analyzed in Congress organized by Spanish Confederation of Guilds and Booksellers Associations (blind) in Seville.

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A quarter of Spanish bookstores sell online, representing 11% of ir turnover, according to data from observatory of Library of Blind. "It is still a minority, representing between 3 and 4% of our sales," says bookseller Juan Miguel Salvador. Without clutch, publisher of Beascoa (Penguin Random House Publishing Group) estimates that online purchase of copies will go from that between 13% and 15% from now to 25% in next three years. Faced with this reality, sector recognizes that it has to act. "We have to deal with this situation, but we don't know how. We are working, analyzing and studying what we can do, "says Blindl's president, Juancho Pons. "It's late to do something decent and compete with Amazon. And battle is not that we compete with m but that we protect our customers, "defends bookseller Antonio de Marco. "We don't have to compete in algorithms, but in anor way, offering what we have always offered: personalized treatment, closeness, quality... We have competitive advantages to survive, says Trueba, who adds that with online sales bookstore runs risk of becoming a mere delivery point.

Among proposals, Congress has analyzed possibility of transforming into a digital sales platform current copy locator ( that Confederation has in operation. "Without losing our independence, we could reach agreements with logistic companies, advantages for payment by card...", details Trueba. However, this formula, according to Pons, has as many defenders as detractors. Anor option is to create in this web site a kind of community. "Publishers upload ir reviews, readers score... but first of all is Visibilizarla," adds bookseller Luis Solano. "We have noticed that this type of social networks do not work, you would have to give it a turn," says Pons. With some 650 registered locales of 1,600 that integrate blind, now allows buyer to know in seconds which bookstore is nearest copy that you are looking for. It also helps companies to keep track of ir stock. "The Bookseller must stop doing administrative tasks and focus on selling," says Pons.

The Guild has reseated seven years after last Congress, a period that President of Blindl qualifies as "annoyed." "Since peak of 2008, book's internal market has fallen by 35%. If you look only at bookstores, descent has been 30%, we have resisted better than whole. Starting in 2014, changes dynamics, starts to open more libraries than those that are closed and begin to raise sales, "says Juan Miguel Salvador. According to data handled by organization, sales have grown from 707 million euros from 2014 to 763 million 2016. For its part, number of bookshops passed in that period from 3,650 to 3,967. "The point is that 2017 is a year of uncertainty and 2018 paints that as well as we have started. Without definitive data, it is pointed out that last year re has been a slight fall, which is clearly a slowdown in recovery, "points out Salvador, who remembers that during years of crisis bookstores have resisted better than rest of sector because y have Innovated with activities and introducing technology. "We haven't stayed still," he adds.

Enlarge Photo A moment of Congress organized by BLINDL in Sevilla. P. P.

Among or challenges, booksellers also want to regain figure of prescribers and engage younger audience. "Not only have to give recommendations to readers must explain reasons why this title or this or will like," says Pons before ensuring that y want to eliminate "idea that bookstores are dusty sites, with grumpy Lords Too old to sneer when a client enters. " "Bookstores must be living sites, with presentations of books, meetings with authors, that people like to go...", proposes head of blind as anor weapon to compete with electronic commerce.

As for second goal, Pons points out commitment that Confederation will make in coming years to promote children's literature and comics. "We must educate kids, it is clear that re is an age in which we lose m, wher by new technologies or whatever, but we must encourage passion for reading. At age of 12 we must engage m so that y do not go away and comics are a good alternative, " president says. "We want promotional campaigns, working with libraries, with schools, we want recommendations and prescriptions of children's books. From Blind we will dedicate work and money to that, "he assured before demanding involvement of administrations.


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