Amazon is killing book store sales, Sheffield bookseller says

A Sheffield book store owner has urged people to choose the ‘serendipitous’ experience of buying books in person rather than online.

Ecclesall Road bookshop, Books on the Park, will relocate to new premises in Kelham Island this summer due to high rent costs and the rise of internet sales.

Owner, David Granville, will pack up shop on 29 May after his lease ends.

The rent for the current premises has been increased by fifty per cent by the landlord.

He said: “Finding the Kelham Island premises came about purely by accident – I live in Kelham Island so we were trying to find somewhere in that area. A number of places we’d attempted to get fell through for one reason or another, and we spotted this building which had been a scooter showroom and then a lifestyle shop, which lasted about ten months. We then saw that it was empty and tracked down the landlord, who happened to live on Rustlings Road and used to visit Books on the Park.”

“We’re well established here, and it’s going to be difficult to build up a custom in a new area, but the challenge is worth taking on,” he added.

David said: “Online shopping isn’t something you’re going to be able to turn the clock back on, and in fact we sell a proportion of our stock online and to some extent, that has helped to keep the shop open. However, it’s got more and more competitive online so the actual income you get online has diminished.”

“If people want to have shops like this where they can come in and actually browse and look at stock and have a relationship with the store owner, who might have knowledge that they won’t necessarily be able to get online, they’ll find that the best thing to do is to keep shops like this open. Shopping locally is important – what you get in this shop is a totally different experience. You cannot replicate the browsing experience and the joy of serendipity by going to Amazon.”

David said he hopes to finish setting up shop in Kelham Island in the middle of July.

By Lauren Davidson

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