Axminster indie bookshop fights back against online giant Amazon with launch of new marketplace

An independent bookshop in Axminster has teamed up with 130 UK stand-alone businesses, joining forces with a new marketplace in a bid for long-term survival.

Archway Bookshop, in Church Street, has teamed up with new UK venture Bookshop.org, to fightback against big online companies, such as Amazon.

The Axminster independent bookshop has its own shopfront on the online platform. It retains part of the profits from each sale, while 10 per cent are shared among the other bookshop members.

Simon Holmes, who has been the owner of the Archway Bookshop for almost two years – occupying premises that have been Axminster’s bookshop for 54 years – said the launch of the new venture offered independent shops ‘real hope of long-term survival’.

He said: “Bookshops are an important ingredient of a traditional British high street – at last we have a powerful new tool that allows our customers to shop online while backing their own town.

He added:  “It’s time that independent shops like ours fought back because if we don’t then we don’t have a future.

“I have high hopes that Bookshop.org will prove to be a game changer in giving our customers an opportunity to buy just about any book online while helping to keep bricks and mortar bookshops like ours on the high street.

“It will also be of great benefit to those of our customers who prefer to do their shopping from home while coronavirus remains in evidence.”

Mr Holmes said customers can source from a ‘massive stock’ of around 500,000 books at any time.

Books ordered through the Archway Bookshop ‘storefront’ are posted direct to customers, with 30 per cent profit on the sale coming back to the shop and 10 per cent of all other sales on the online platform supporting participating independent bookshops through an evenly-divided earnings pool.

Nicole Vanderbilt, Bookshop.org UK managing director, said: “We are offering a socially conscious alternative to customers wishing to shop online while supporting their own bookshops.”

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