Local Bookseller Argues Vital Role For Bookstores in E-Book Age, Move to Consigment Model (Video)

Digital Book World: What is your take on the idea of “bookstore showroom,” which insinuates that people still like to come into the bookstore – still like to touch, feel, look – and then perhaps buy online or somewhere else?

Michell Kaplan, owner of bookstore chain Books and Books in South Florida: One of the reasons why that is being talked about is to get the message across to publishers that bookstores still have a vital role in the way books are sold – whether they’re sold online or through stores.

And one of the subtexts for making that argument is to try to encourage publishers to do all they can to change their business model so that the bookstore can still have lots of books in their stores in order to sell.

One way? Publishers and bookstores should work on a consignment model, suggests Kaplan: Stores are filled with books, but booksellers are not responsible for paying for them until they sell. This is also known in the business world as “scan-based trading.” Basically, the supplier (i.e., publisher) owns the inventory (i.e., books) until the sale is made.

Scan-based trading reportedly offers benefits to both suppliers and retailers. After implementing scan-based trading, retailers and suppliers see sales lifts of 1% to 5%, according to a 2004 report from Kurt Salmon and Associates, a New York-based management consulting firm.


A joint production of Digital Book World and Astral Road Media: http://www.astralroad.com/. Founded by Rich Fahle, Astral Road Media is a full-service digital media agency, providing content strategy, design, video production, and other creative forms of social outreach for authors and content creators of all types.

Bookstore photo via Shutterstock

2 thoughts on “Local Bookseller Argues Vital Role For Bookstores in E-Book Age, Move to Consigment Model (Video)

  1. Darrel Jackson

    Kurt Salmon’s study is 8 years old and was done under controlled circumstances. Vendor’s have not yet learned to leverage the benefits of scan based trading. At this point in time it helps retailers more than vendors as retailers get immediate financial relief from shifting inventory costs to the vendor. SBT provides benefits for vendors via marketing and supply chain management, but realizing these benefits is still a goal to attain. http://www.linkedin.com/in/darreljackson

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