On Wednesday, August 23, American Booksellers Association member bookstores will be able to begin submitting their store data to ABACUS-16, ABA’s annual bookstore financial survey. By submitting their store data for ABACUS-16, stores will receive a detailed individual store performance report that analyzes their financial results, including relevant and insightful benchmarking comparisons across a number of criteria.
This year, ABA will be working to compile and create the ABACUS report with Industry Insights, of Dublin, Ohio, and as part of this new partnership, in addition to the customized printed report, bookstores participating in ABACUS-16 will be able to access a secure and private online searchable results tool that allows users to compile ABACUS data using criteria that they select. Industry Insights has worked with associations for more than 35 years in preparing studies of business demographics, operations information, and financial ratios.
The ABACUS project, available only to members, is a confidential survey of key bookstore financial information that provides participating stores with in-depth, customized reports that are an important tool for improving business operations and profitability.
“Wellesley Books has enthusiastically embraced the ABACUS process since we opened the store in 2010,” said Bill Kohli, co-owner of the Wellesley, Massachusetts, store. “Given our lack of experience in the ‘business’ of books, we quickly found ABACUS to be an effective tool to focus our attention on the key metrics of running a successful bookstore. We have subsequently organized our business planning and budgeting tools and weekly performance monitors around many of those same metrics.”
Andy Perham of Books Inc. in San Francisco noted that ABACUS is “a tremendous tool in evaluating our financial strengths and weaknesses. It helps us challenge our assumptions and makes sure we are asking the right questions about how we operate. The ability to compare our store with other bookstores across the country is very effective in helping us be as healthy as possible.”
An e-mail will be sent to ABA member bookstores from Industry Insights on August 23 with instructions on how to access this year’s survey. Members will be able to complete the survey securely online or they may download a PDF version of the form to complete.
ABA member stores with questions about ABACUS can e-mail ABA Senior Strategy Officer Dan Cullen.