18 May 2022
When you’ve spent so much money in one bookshop you figure you might as well buy it, you know you’re buying a passion. And that’s exactly what Scott and Sheree Brown did when they purchased long established Books A Plenty late last year.
But why buy a bookshop in a digital age and why in the middle of COVID? Why not it seems.
“We looked globally at what was happening in bookshops.” explains Sheree. “They’re bigger than ever! With COVID reading has really taken off again and independent bookshops across the globe have taken on a second life.”
With e-book sales declining to around just 7%, young readers growing daily and Book Tok and Bookstagram holding their own against Tik Tok and Instagram Scott and Sheree are riding the crest of a growth wave.
“There’s a real trend back to the tactile book.” Explains Scott. “Maybe it’s because so many people are spending time on zoom meetings and they want to get away from their mobile devices. There’s a massive growth in classic novels and a surge in growth of young readers.It’s good for the industry. New writers are pushing the industry forward and broadening the offerings to meet the demand from growing sectors.”
Having an established and loyal customer base helps.“The shops been here for over 40 years. It’s an iconic destination for people. I think that’s the same for a number of the family owned, locally owned boutique stores in the city centre.” says Sheree
“We had a new staff member start recently. She had the impression that Tauranga’s CBD was dead. But she can’t get over the number of people on the streets. People are very quick to run it down, but they should come and see for themselves. It’s very much alive and will only get better and better.”
Scott agrees. “If people want to appreciate the revitalisation of the CBD they need to come, see and experience it, support us and be part of it to help us grow.”