Publishers Find Opportunities Beyond Bookstores
There’s nothing unusual about publishers
exploring channels beyond book stores to
sell their titles. What’s different today,
according to a New York Times report, is the resources they are putting behind those efforts.
As the number
of traditional bookstores continues to decline and more floor space in existing
outlets goes to items other than soft and hardcover books, publishers are faced
with the necessity of seeking other options for growth.
“The national bookstore chain has peaked as a sales channel, and the
growth is not going to come from there,” David Steinberger, chief executive
of the Perseus Books Group, told the Times. “But it doesn’t
mean that all brick-and-mortar retailers are cutting back.”
One of those
not cutting back is Kitson, a group of upscale clothing boutiques in Los Angeles. Fraser
Ross, the owner of Kitson, said consumers purchased 100,000 books in 2010 from
its stores, double from the year before.
Popular sellers at Kitson include How
to Raise a Jewish Dog and The
Official Dictionary of Sarcasm.
“We try to be different,” Mr. Ross told the Times.
sees books as a means to bring depth to its own brand’s story.
“As we try to get them excited about different ideas as they walk in
the door, books can be a tremendous way to narrate those stories,” Aaron
Hoey, global general merchandise manager of accessories and home at Anthropologie,
told the Times. “We do a very good job of selecting unique books,
books you’re not going to find in a typical bookstore, and certainly
not in a mass-market bookstore like Borders or Barnes & Noble. And to stumble
across it at Amazon, you have to really know what you’re looking for.”
Discussion Questions: Does selling books take away from the focus of retailers who are not in that business or do they bring added depth to the brand? What nontraditional sellers do you think are doing a good job of using books to add to their brand story? Where else would books be a good fit?