You’ve probably done this: walk into a book store, browse the titles, read some pages, see what’s new. After some perusing, you find a book you like. But, instead of bringing it to the cashier, you pick up your phone to price compare on Amazon. Or, similarly, you write the name down to check out your local used book store first.
Book stores are becoming showrooms. We like to look at the crisp new copies of books, but when it comes time to buy, we look for the cheapest option.
Some stores have embraced this, creating a show room feel for their store, and then offering to price match with lower prices found online. Used book stores can benefit from this behaviour by offering a cheaper price. Either way, many book shops are suffering from the multitude of cheaper avenues that have cropped up in recent years.
Indigo has taken the showroom setup to the extreme. Not only are customers meandering among books, they can fit themselves into an entire lifestyle around the theme of books. Reading a book? Why not do so with a cup of tea in a pretty mug? Or wouldn’t it be nice to read in a plush throw blanket? Indigo had mastered setting a mood for the shopper.
Though this can be seen as an abandonment of the focus on the book in favour of a commercialized deco store, I think they can live symbiotically. Readers fit into a marketable mold, and indigo offers more than other book stores by setting an entire lifestyle for the book lover and all the products you need to fulfill that life.
Stores need to adapt to the idea of thinking like the reader. Fulfilling the need to read and love of reading with books, but also the human desire to be a “book person.”
So, book stores. Help us be book people! Create a cozy atmosphere, sell some candles and tea, and encourage a life of reading.