Booksellers to Share Financial Strategies and Insights at Wi11’s ABACUS Roundtables

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At the ABACUS Roundtables session at next month’s Winter Institute 11 in Denver, booksellers will have the opportunity to have in-depth discussions about bookstore finances and operations with stores similar in profile using data from the most recent ABACUS survey.

The ABACUS project is an annual, members-only survey that collects and analyzes key and actionable information that can help improve a bookstore’s operations and bottom line.

The roundtable session, which will be held on Tuesday, January 26, from 2:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in the Governor’s Square 16 Room at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel, is open to all booksellers regardless of previous participation in the survey.

ABA Senior Strategy Officer Dan Cullen said the roundtables will offer an opportunity for helpful conversations among booksellers, who should plan to share insights and questions and to work on formulating answers together with colleagues facing similar challenges.

“We’re trying to maximize the peer-to-peer opportunity for conversation, for sharing experiences, suggestions, and tips,” said Cullen. “We’ve structured it to help booksellers connect with people whose stores share similar characteristics and challenges.”

Martha Love, the National Association of College Stores’ OnCampus Research information analyst, will be on hand with Cullen to talk with booksellers about the importance of ABACUS and to highlight critical parts of the report. “This report from this survey data is the best way — and for most people, the only way — to have credible, practical financial data with which to compare their operation to see how they’re doing,” Love said.

“A single number is not going to save you; you still have to have context, you have to have comparison, and you have to have relevance. That’s what this session brings you, that perspective of relevance by networking with other booksellers,” said Love.

Love will also be available for one-on-one meetings at the Consultation Station throughout Winter Institute.

Roundtable participants will join discussions based on the type of community their store is located in. Booksellers who have participated in the survey in previous years should review their most recent ABACUS report and come with a copy, if possible. Those who have not participated in the survey are welcome to attend; dedicated roundtables for those new to ABACUS will have an experienced bookseller present, as well as relevant pages from the current ABACUS report for review.

The ABACUS Roundtables held at Winter Institute10 in Asheville, North Carolina, were very productive, said Cullen, and he hopes to see more faces at the session next month.

“A better understanding of ABACUS, either taking the first steps or improving the way that your store evaluates your ABACUS results, is a prescription for potentially greater sales and profitability for a store of any size at any stage of its business development,” said Cullen. “What we’ve found, consistently, is when booksellers are able to all contribute what they know, the collective picture is one of a deeper understanding across the board.”

The ABACUS Roundtables will take place from 2:45 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. on Tuesday, January 26, 2016, in the Governor’s Square 16 Room at the Sheraton Denver Downtown Hotel in Denver, Colorado.