At the same time our local council adopted a policy of reducing the size of our shopping centres, the idea here was I think to allow the shops on the edges of the towns to be converted to residential, so there were less shop properties in the towns which they thought would result in less empty shops.
During the period of the expansion of out of town shopping which I think started to affect the town centres adversely around 2000 and peaked with the opening of WC in 2007, when WC phase 2 opened in 2010 and not all of the units were let immediately, I did wonder what was up, but I think it is only now that I am beginning to understand it.
Recently while Sainsbury and Tesco have been seeing reduced sales, my sales in the bookshop have been increasing, I guess that is partly because I can regulate prices in a way that Sainsbury and Tesco just can’t.
The secondhand book business is much easier to explain and in this area Amazon leads the field, another big source is ABE also owned by Amazon, ebay is also a contender but for the most part my main competition is Amazon.
Now I would say that most of the secondhand books for sale cheaply on Amazon have been donated to charities, sold to large commercial organisations with automated warehouses and listed for sale on Amazon by someone who doesn’t know much about books.
I guess from my point of view this means that people are likely to get more money selling their books to me than they would if they sold them on the internet.
What I try to do is to have defined book sections that relate to people’s interests and over the last few weeks I have been working on what I would loosely describe as the “craft section” I guess my children would describe it as the “design and technology” section, social history perhaps, anyway hard to define so the pictures tell the story.
So still the question why is my bookshop doing better, I don’t think my books stock is very different in quality to what it was this time last year, I think it may be partly to do with book shopping becoming more of a leisure activity, partly due to Ramsgate town centre being busier than it was last year.
At the moment no blog post seems to be complete without something about Manston airport, the latest being the minutes of the Kent International Airport Committee going into the public domain, these seem to say that RiverOak want to build 2,000 houses on the site, here is the link http://www.scribd.com/doc/246454440/KIACC-Minutes-2014-09-30
As far as I understand KIACC is either some branch of or in some way related to TDC and so either this means that the information is wrong and just a clerical error, or the information was right and may have to be changed, or of course the councillors knew that they were mounting a cpo for a property investment company.
In the craft section of the bookshop I am wondering whether the people who normally buy books about sewing, knitting and fabrics will be interested in me adding a whole shelf of books about cotton spinning, fabric dyeing and wool spinning to this section.
I think that is about it for the blog post, apart from our new sales director who is late for his book advertising meeting.I managed to track down Flat Eric, he has found a book that greatly interests him and doesn’t seem to like the idea of me selling it, so he won’t display it for tonights advertisement.
RiverOak have issued a rejoinder see http://www.riveroakinvestments.co.uk/riveroak-responds-residential-units-challenge/ some of the phraseology is interesting and as I have many American customers I am used to them saying “I’m mad about my flat” when they have a puncture. However I am left with an odd feeling about this