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At ABA’s education session “How to Plan for a Second Location” at BEA, a panel of experienced booksellers shared their experiences of starting a new venture, including determining when to expand, arranging startup capital, finding a location, coordinating staff, managing inventory, and handling POS and store logistics.
Stacy Mitchell, senior researcher with the New Rules Project and author of Big-Box Swindle: The True Cost of Mega-Retailers and the Fight for America’s Independent Businesses, looks at grassroots financing of local businesses, including Brooklyn's Greenlight Bookstore, Oakland's Awaken Café, and Hardwick, Vermont's Claire's Restaurant.
The decision to sell a business begs a series of hard questions, including: How much is the business worth? How can its value be increased? What are alternatives to exiting the business? How are buyers selected? Panelists tackled these questions and more during the Day of Education session "Succession Planning: Valuing Your Business."
Booksellers who would like help completing the 2009 ABACUS Survey can now set up appointments to meet one-on-one with David Walker, ABA's industry consultant, at BookExpo America. Walker is available for meetings in the ABA Booksellers Lounge (Room 1E07/08 of the Javits Convention Center) beginning Friday, May 29.
With the holidays looming and a recently released NRF survey indicating that debit cards are now more popular than credit cards, it's conceivable that consumers' confusion and indignation over debit card fees found on their bank statements could soon become a significant issue for retailers -- if it isn't already.
On Saturday, June 5, at BookExpo America, ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz conducted the two-hour session "The 2% Solution," a comprehensive seminar that suggested ways in which operators of bookstores could address issues related to lack of profitability. "The thrust of the session is to try to go from a negative profitability to a positive," Domnitz said in his opening remarks. "This used to be called a two percent industry . The thing that struck me about it, is that it is doable."
In a recent e-mail sent out to all ABA-member bookstores, ABA CEO Avin Mark Domnitz strongly encouraged bookstores to submit their fiscal 2003 financial statement numbers to the "ABACUS Survey -- Year 2."
As part of its continuing coverage of succession planning issues, Bookselling This Week spoke to six bookstore owners who recently and successfully purchased independent bookstores. Last week, BTW covered "Succession II," a session from BookExpo America moderated by Ivan Barkhorn, a consultant to ABA on strategic matters, and provided a link to Barkhorn's PowerPoint presentation.
California bookseller Amy Thomas has written an open letter to the Northern California Independent Booksellers Association membership explaining why she believes the new ABACUS project is so important to her business, and to independent booksellers. The deadline for reporting for ABACUS Year One is March 31, 2003.
One key element to successful bookstore succession planning is to know your ideal buyer and terms. Experts attest that the process of selling a store is complicated enough without having to negotiate with a buyer who is, at best, an unknown quantity.
The American Booksellers Association, a national not-for-profit trade organization, works with booksellers and industry partners to ensure the success and profitability of independently owned book retailers, and to assist in expanding the community of the book.
Independent bookstores act as community anchors; they serve a unique role in promoting the open exchange of ideas, enriching the cultural life of communities, and creating economically vibrant neighborhoods.