NZ Bookshop Numbers on the Rise
15 January 2018
Since January 2018, Booksellers NZ has gained seven brand new members from everywhere from Vulcan Lane in Central Auckland, through to Twizel in South Canterbury, as well as online store Five Dogs Books.
‘We have seen a decided increase in the number of new bookshops over the past year’ notes Booksellers NZ CEO Lincoln Gould. ‘While the likes of Little Unity is clearly owned by a well-established bookshop ownership team, we have Another Chapter in Newtown, Wellington, Petronella’s Bookshop in Lake Tekapo, and The Twizel Bookshop, all of which were opened by booklovers with no previous experience in the sector.’
This trend is reflective of a worldwide trend towards bookshop ownership becoming more popular, as reported in The Guardian earlier this month, and reflected in figures from the US showing a 35% rise in numbers of indie bookshops.
‘We are also seeing greater confidence in independent bookshop ownership particularly’, adds Gould, ‘with several of our members moving and expanding their shops over the past year, namely Poppies Howick, Almo’s Bookshop in Masterton and Book Haven in Newtown.’
Booksellers NZ membership is now sitting just shy of 200, and includes all Paper Plus and Take Note community franchise stores, and our Book Tokens and Gift Cards are valid at all of the shops in this nationwide chain, as well as our independent members.
The Twizel Bookshop was opened by Renee Rowland in August 2017, and she opened the store after a busy corporate career because she says, ‘It was just time to start honouring what I loved and was good at instead of trying to fit into something else.
‘I love knowing for the kids in this town, having a bookshop is normal. My 10 year old self would be proud of me. And I no longer need to curb my enthusiasm. Owning a bookshop does not feel like work. It's just a fun and interesting thing I've created and get to do everyday, something to feel proud of and satisfied by. ‘
Another Chapter opened opposite the Wellington Hospital in November 2018, and Owner Lorna Bingham, who was a nurse previously, says, ‘I opened Another Chapter to provide an inspiring space for staff of and visitors to the hospital to be able to have a little time out from busy caretaking roles to be able to enjoy browsing & buying books, cards and gifts.
‘I have enjoyed amazing camaraderie since setting the shop up. I am filled with joy because I am living my dream, and my customers have been really positive about the space and selection of books.’
We believe that booklovers of New Zealand are gradually coming to understand the value of the bookshop in their own neighbourhood. They know they employ local people, they curate their bookshops with their customers in mind, and they are most importantly, wonderful places to be. This is the future of our retail environment.