Lucky 7: Indie Bookstores Rise for Seventh Straight Year
Independent bookselling remains on a roll.
The American Booksellers Association has grown for the seventh consecutive year, the trade group's CEO, Oren Teicher, told The Associated Press during a recent interview. Core membership increased to 1,775, up by 63 over the previous year and by more than 300 since 2009. And with many stores opening additional outlets, the number of individual locations rose to 2,311, compared with 2,227 at this time in 2015 and just 1,651 in 2009.
With membership once well exceeding 3,000, independent sellers had been shutting down for decades, largely because of competition from Amazon.com and from the superstore chains Barnes & Noble and Borders. But Borders has gone out of business and Barnes & Noble is struggling. Independent booksellers also have benefited from the leveling of e-book sales and resilience of paper editions. According to Teicher, unit sales from some 580 stores reporting numbers are up 5 percent in the first four months of 2016 compared with the same period in 2015.