Friday 20 October 2017

Bookshops begin new chapter in survival

Mark Hilliard

AROUND a third of independent Irish bookshops have had to close their doors permanently over the past 10 years but there are signs of resurgence in the industry.

According to the Booksellers' Association (BA), there are around 140 shops left in today's marketplace with many feeling the pressures of an ailing economy, poor consumer spending, internet sales and technological advances in electronic books.

That number dropped by 30pc between 1999 and 2009 but the spiral of closures has begun to level off.

Next month, the BA will meet again to discuss the state of the industry and to offer its members advice on how to weather the storm.

"There has been a steady decline over the last 10 years," said Bob Johnston (38), owner of the relatively new Gutter Bookshop in Dublin's Temple Bar.

"However, I think last year it was finally even between the numbers closing and the numbers opening so it has not been as bad."

Irish Independent

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