This week, Dan Cullen, the American Booksellers Association’s senior strategy officer, urged booksellers to participate in the ABACUS-14 survey of bookstore finances, a unique data source and analytic tool for indie bookstores.
In an e-mail sent to ABA main store members on Tuesday, June 16, Cullen stressed that submitting data to ABACUS-14 by the July 1 deadline only takes about 30 minutes via a secure and confidential electronic form. In return, participants will receive an executive summary of the survey’s overall findings and a confidential, customized report that puts their own store finances within a fully intelligible industry framework, providing context, insight, and essential benchmarking guidelines to improve a business’ performance.
Among the hundreds of booksellers who have found ABACUS to be a key tool for strategic and business planning, access to capital, negotiations with landlords, and more is Bob Sommer of Arizona’s Changing Hands Bookstore. “ABACUS has helped us so many times over the years — when we were writing business plans to secure loans, when we were negotiating with a landlord, when we wanted to know where we might be overspending compared to other stores of our size, and when we wanted to know just how well we might be able to do if we could only figure out what some of those other folks were doing to generate such high sales per square foot,” Sommer said. “I guarantee that the knowledge you gain in the process will be of use to you.”
For ABACUS to succeed, a critical mass of indie bookstores must complete the survey by July 1.
All ABA main store members were sent an e-mail in early June that included their unique ABACUS I.D. number, instructions for participating, and links to the online submission form. The e-mail bore the subject line “ABACUS-14 USE THIS LINK,” and the sender was Martha Love, the National Association of College Stores’ OnCampus Research information analyst. Booksellers with questions about submitting data to the survey can contact Martha Love at OnCampus Research via email@example.com or (800) 622-7498, ext. 2448.
Booksellers with general questions about ABACUS can contact Cullen via e-mail or at (800) 637-0037, ext. 7560.