A Last Call for ABACUS-12 Data

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Next Wednesday, July 31, is the final day for ABA member stores to submit their financial data to the ABACUS-12 survey.

Stores that complete the survey will receive:

  • a customized report tailored to individual participating businesses
  • an analysis of how a bookstore’s performance compares with similar indie bookstores
  • an insightful Executive Summary with key insights regarding the factors of indie bookstore profitability, and
  • the information necessary to successfully renegotiate a store lease or help secure operating capital

ABA will once again be awarding the Avin Mark Domnitz Scholarship to attend Winter Institute 2014 to the owner or an employee of a bookstore who submits the store’s 2012 financial data to the ABACUS-12 survey. The scholarship covers travel expenses up to $350 and up to a four-night stay at the Wi9 host hotel.

Past ABACUS participants have found their customized reports crucial in helping to establish important business goals, to determine how best to improve a bookstore’s financial health, and to monitor store progress. ABACUS reports have also been extremely useful in writing stronger business plans, conducting successful lease negotiations with landlords, setting benchmarks for payroll, and identifying areas where profitability could be improved.

“Our industry has no equivalent to ABACUS,” said Dan Cullen, ABA’s content officer, “but a sufficient number of stores must participate each year in order to produce an insightful report, and we still have not reached the necessary critical mass.” Cullen noted that bookstore members have recently received e-mails from both the booksellers on the ABACUS Task Force and the ABA Board encouraging them to submit their numbers to ABACUS-12 if they have not yet done so. “There are no greater advocates for ABACUS than indie booksellers,” he said. “This is the perfect example of where participation in a program is beneficial not only for an individual store but for the larger community of indie bookselling.”

Submitting data to the ABACUS survey is easy — the information can be taken right off a store’s P&L statement — and generally takes less than an hour. This year’s online submissions form does all the calculations automatically, and the data gathering is completely secure and confidential.

ABA member bookstores should look for a link to the ABACUS-12 survey and a unique store ID number in a July 15 e-mail from OnCampus Research Information Analyst Martha Love. The e-mail has the subject line “ABACUS-12 Deadline EXTENDED.”

The link and ID number were sent via e-mail to help ensure the security of a bookstore’s data, but booksellers who can’t find the store ID — or who have any questions  —  are encouraged to e-mail Martha Love at mlove@nacs.org or to call (800) 622-7498,  ext. 2448. (Also, stores that did not receive the e-mail should check both their spam filter and with key staff members to see if they may have received it.)