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Indie bookshop numbers rose again in 2020

Despite a challenging year the number of independent bookshops increases.

The Booksellers Association

According to the Booksellers Association for the fourth consecutive year the number of independent bookstores in the UK and Ireland has grown.

The number of independent bookstores with membership to the BA has increased from 890 shops in 2019 to 967 by the end of 2020. There have of course been some independent bookstores that have had to sadly close over the previous year thanks to hardships brought on by the coronavirus pandemic, but overall it appears to have been a good year for indie stores.

Meryl Halls from the BA, said; “It has been an incredibly difficult year for booksellers, and the high street as a whole, so it is fantastic to see the number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland increase for a fourth consecutive year.

“Covid-19, national lockdowns and shifting tier systems have had a huge impact on bookshops across the country, with footfall significantly reduced, the supply chain affected, and competition from tech giants more unfair than ever. Thankfully, booksellers were able to adapt quickly to the new realities of 2020, pivoting their services online and finding new ways to reach their customers and continue operating.”

Yet despite the overall good number Halls did warn about future hardships that many stores will have to face, adding; “2021 is likely to be another challenging year for booksellers, as the full impact of the pandemic on the high street becomes apparent. However, this year has proven the resilience, resourcefulness and dedication of booksellers, and we will do everything we can to support them as they look ahead and plan for a post-pandemic future.”

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