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Have independent bookstores found answers to counter Amazon? – RetailWire

Jul 21, 2021

Independent bookstores had made sales and market share gains before the novel coronavirus pandemic upset the basket in 2020. Last year, however, proved difficult for small retailers as they had to contend with forced store closings while pivoting online to take advantage. increased interest of homebound consumers in reading and buying from local merchants.

In-store sales fell 30% last year, according to, an online platform for independent booksellers supported by the American Booksellers Association (ABA). Online sales, however, jumped 700%, helping to offset some of the damage from a declining year.

Independent stores are slowly returning to a state of semi-normalcy as states have relaxed safety protocols with millions of Americans having been vaccinated against COVID-19. Bookstore sales, which grew nearly 130% year-on-year in May, were still down 9.2% from the same period in 2019.

Friendly City Books ended 2019 with plans to open its store in Columbus, MS, in the second quarter of 2020. Emily Liner, founder and owner of the store, said Retail that “the pandemic completely upset” her plans and that she “had no idea when or if a physical enterprise would be feasible again.”

Have independent bookstores found answers to counter Amazon?
Emily Liner, Founder of Friendly City Books, hosting a recent online authoring event. – Source: Facebook / friendlycitybooks

Ms Liner said she brought her business online on the platform. This allowed Friendly City to start selling books online without having to hold inventory or fulfill orders itself. The store was finally able to open on November 28 of last year and has been going strong ever since.

Friendly City continues to sell online “even though life is back to normal”. The shoppers the store finds online are the same as “having additional customers walking through the door,” she said.

Andy Hunter, founder of, sees’s growing market share as an existential threat to small bookstores, authors, and the publishing industry. He says Amazon will account for 80% of the US book market by 2025 if it manages to maintain an 8% annual growth rate over the next four years. Mr Hunter said Amazon’s downturn is made more difficult because it uses call-loss prices on the most popular titles, which represent a disproportionate percentage of the market. has around 1,200 bookstores on its platform and partners with 26,000 affiliates.

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: Do you think Amazon or its bookstore rivals will gain more market share over the next few years? What can independent bookstore owners do to compete with Amazon and the big retail chains?


“Any transition to online sales will finally answer the question of whether the main attraction of the bookstore is atmosphere or inventory.”


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Old Soul Collective, vintage furniture and clothing in Waterville!

It’s always great to see new businesses coming to the Augusta-Waterville area. It’s even better when the business moves because it is so successful that it has outgrown its current location. This is exactly what happened to Jessica Stetson and her company “Old Soul Collective” in Skowhegan.

Now we are sad for Skowhegan, but super happy for us. (Sorry!) Jessica, a longtime wedding and newborn photographer here in central Maine, has made her dreams come true over the past year with the opening of her store. And in a climate where so many new businesses never make it past the six-month mark, we’re super excited that not only was it a success … but that it exploded!

In an interview with WABI TV 5, Stetson spoke about the move and the nostalgia that her store will be relocating to the Waterville location where she spent so much time growing up.

“We’re going from a 700 square foot store in Skowhegan to 3,300 square feet in Waterville. Sign of the Sun was a store I grew up in as a kid in Waterville. The fact that my company is here now, I feel very humbled and grateful for it ”.

With the larger location, Stetson says she is excited to now offer space for other vendors to sell their vintage items and crafts. To stay up to date with Jessica and her ‘Old Soul Collective’ store, follow them on Facebook. They hope the new location will be open by August 1.

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These fourteen take-out places in Maine are the top picks for our listeners. What else should be on the list? Send us a message through our app or on Facebook.

9 trips to Maine your family must take

Since it looks like summer 2021 is going to be a little different – not quite as different as summer 2020, however – we’ve put together a list of great vacations you can take with your partner or, in many cases , the whole family. This list was inspired by Only In Your State. Please keep in mind that due to current COVID-19 restrictions, some locations may not be fully open. Let us know what are your favorite places to visit in Maine by messaging us through our app or on Facebook.

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Do you already have our free radio app? Otherwise, it’s the perfect way to request a song, talk to DJs, participate in exclusive contests, and stay on top of everything that is happening in and around central Maine and the world. When you download it, make sure to turn on push notifications so that we can send you exclusive content and local news that you need to know first. Simply enter your mobile number below and we’ll send you a download link straight to your mobile device. After that, you can download for free and immediately start accessing all kinds of exclusive content specially designed for you. Try it out and stay connected with us!

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10 Jackson Thrift stores, you’re sure to find your next treasure

Calling all lovers of vintage, the unique, the hunt for the unique, the environment and everything that comes with thrift stores, Jackson certainly has some cool places to check out.

Now report Macklemore …

Increased interest in second-hand purchases

As someone who has always loved saving, I like to see more people see the value of it.

For me, and for many others, this is a great way to feel good about the purchases you make. That you don’t have to spend all of your money on showcasing your personal style, on finding things that you feel comfortable in. Even with the furniture and interior design, I like to find those pieces that surprise you and make your home unique.

You see it all over TikTok and other social media sites, people showing off their great second-hand finds.

As the conversations against ‘fast fashion’ brands (check out Reddit thread r / ethicalfashion) and their negative effects on the environment continue, more and more people are turning to savings to reduce their carbon footprint.

All that interest, here are some of the best stores in Jackson

Sure, bigger names in the thrift game like Goodwill and St. Vincent come into play in Jackson and are on the next list, but there are a few local stores that are pretty powerful as well.

10 Used Outlets in Jackson, MI

Second-hand shopping isn’t just a more sustainable way to shop, it’s also so much fun and really puts your style and creativity to the test. Fortunately, Jackson has plenty of places to find your next treasure.

Things to keep in mind while saving

It’s easy, with prices as low as retail, to get carried away by impulse buying. However, take the time to determine if you really need the item (s), if you will actually use them, or if it is just going to sit in a pile with other procrastinated DIY projects that you COULD one day make. .

There are a lot of people and families who still rely on thrift stores for the clothes they need, household supplies, dishes, etc.

Plus, if you buy used items to protect the environment, so much the better! Just make sure you buy parts that you will use and don’t just end up in a landfill.

That being said, good luck and good savings!

Here’s a look at a few abandoned brands where thrift stores will likely be the only place we’ll ever see them again:

50 famous brands that no longer exist

In addition to some chain stores, you may still be able to find relics of:

Here are 50 of your favorite chain stores that no longer exist.

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LVMH to take majority stake in Off-White

Dive brief:

  • LVMH and Virgil Abloh announced on Tuesday that the luxury conglomerate will acquire a majority stake in Off-White LLC, the owner of the Off-White brand, according to a company press release.

  • LVMH will own a 60% stake in the brand, while Abloh, who founded Off-White in 2013, will retain a 40% stake and continue as the brand’s creative director. The transaction is subject to regulatory approval and is expected to close within 60 days.

  • Abloh has been the artistic director of Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection since 2018 and will continue in this role as well.

Dive overview:

As LVMH financially deepens its relationship with Off-White, it is also strengthening Abloh’s role in the luxury conglomerate.

Abloh will retain his roles with Off-White and Louis Vuitton, but the partnership gives the designer the ability to launch new brands and partner with existing brands beyond fashion. Although LVMH has not explained what this might include, the company said “the first talks have already started.”

“We have already had the privilege of witnessing Virgil’s exceptional creativity and vision through his work with us at Louis Vuitton,” said Bernard Arnault, CEO of LVMH, in a statement. “We look forward to supporting Virgil and the team both in driving the growth of Off-White and in working with Virgil to bring his unique sensibility to a wider range of luxury categories.”

Italian holding company New Guards Group will remain an operating partner of Off-White under its license agreement.

In October 2020, Tiffany & Co. agreed to be acquired by LVMH for $ 15.8 billion after a tumultuous year of litigation that resulted in a price tag that was $ 400 million less than its original deal. This winter, LVMH took a 50% stake in Jay-Z’s brand of champagne, Armand De Brignac. And in June, the conglomerate took full control of the fashion house Emilio Pucci, after having bought the stake held by the Pucci family.

“LVMH is bringing the extra firepower and scale needed to accelerate our momentum and make Off-White a true multi-line luxury brand,” Abloh said in a statement.

Abloh worked as Kanye West’s Creative Director and with Fendi. In 2012 he launched Pyrex Vision, which ultimately led to the creation of Off-White.

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Unbabel Announces LangOps Survey Results and New Market Category to Unify Language Strategy and Unlock Growth for Businesses | Business


Unbabel, the industry’s first AI-powered language operations platform that helps businesses deliver multilingual support at scale, today announces a new market category: Language operations (LangOps). LangOps is a unified approach that helps global businesses communicate trust more effectively with their customers and stakeholders in any language. It offers transparency and control over all aspects of language in an organization by breaking down multilingual barriers and solving a key challenge for the expansion of the global market.

This press release features multimedia. See the full version here:

LangOps Platform (Graphic: Business Wire)

“We believe that establishing LangOps as its own category allows customers to centralize and scale multilingual capabilities across their business,” said Vasco Pedro, co-founder and CEO of Unbabel. “All businesses run language processes through a complex mix of different systems, agencies and people. This manual and fragmented problem hinders communication, blocks cross-functional collaboration, and traps global expansion. LangOps will redefine the way businesses unify and manage their language strategy to unlock business growth and exceed customer expectations.

As part of this category launch, Unbabel announces the Unbabel LangOps 2021 survey this reveals a strong market desire among participants for centralized LangOps, as well as optimism about the value and commercial adoption of LangOps. Unbabel collected results from 1,058 U.S. respondents with decision-making power in functions such as customer support, sales, marketing, IT, business operations, human resources, finance, and purchasing in organizations with global operations. Participants were evenly split between those from mid-market organizations (100 to 999 employees) and businesses (over 1,000 employees).

The main conclusions are as follows:

  • Localization does not allow companies to evolve. Respondents feel that their current location function is insufficient in terms of quality (34%), speed (32%) and consistency (30%). Companies that grow to enter new markets are language blocked, due to the huge cost (say 44%), the lack of a clear sole proprietorship (36%), and the disconnected and decentralized process of incorporation. new languages ​​(36%).
  • LangOps would save money. Over 90% of respondents agree that a centralized LangOps platform could be a cost effective solution to doing more with less.
  • Centralized LangOps is valuable. Over 86% believe that a centralized LangOps team managing all translation and localization efforts in their organization could be extremely or very helpful.
  • LangOps is important for the global market strategy. Over 90% of respondents agree that LangOps could be extremely or very important to their organization’s global market strategy.
  • The market is confident of rapid adoption. More than half (52%) of those surveyed would like to implement a LangOps solution within the next five or six months.

Unbabel is uniquely positioned to spearhead the LangOps category, with its proprietary AI-powered, human-powered machine translation technology that powers the language strategy of an entire organization. As a LangOps platform provider, companies must offer their customers a single dashboard with:

  • key language analyzes that provide comprehensive information for all critical business functions;
  • improved machine translation tools and workflows that allow key stakeholders to collaborate and optimize a more efficient translation process;
  • and seamless integrations and APIs that connect to existing systems to incorporate translations into different communication channels.

Learn more about LangOps and the future of your language strategy here.

Supporting quotes

“A decentralized, fragmented and siled approach to language translation services just doesn’t work anymore,” said Vikram Nagaraj, Global Delivery Partner Manager at Microsoft, an Unbabel customer. “For companies like Microsoft, there is a need and a desire to serve multilingual communication in a transversal and operational manner beyond customer service. Unbabel is driving this movement by breaking down the language barrier and creating a centralized way to operationalize the language more efficiently and on a larger scale.

“Unbabel is positioned as a visionary in the space with its understanding that LangOps can transform the industry,” said Marco Amorim, Global Transformation Lead Architect at Majorel, an Unbabel partner specializing in international customer experience and business process outsourcing. “We strongly agree that having a unified approach to language beyond translation can enable companies to better serve their clients and grow their global footprint. The results of Unbabel’s survey draw attention to the evolving interest here, with the majority of survey participants feeling confident that a LangOps solution will be rapidly adopted within the next six months.

About Unbabel

Unbabel removes language barriers so businesses can thrive across cultures and geographies. The company’s Language Operations solution combines advanced artificial intelligence with human editors, for fast, efficient, and high-quality translations that get smarter over time. Unbabel integrates seamlessly into any channel, so agents can provide consistent multilingual support from their existing workflows. This makes it easy for businesses to expand into new markets and build the confidence of customers around the world. Based in San Francisco, California, Unbabel works with leading customer support teams from brands such as Panasonic, Microsoft,, and Udemy, to effortlessly communicate with customers around the world, no matter what language they speak. For more information visit

View source version on


Andrea Capodilupo

Communication manager

[email protected]



SOURCE: Unbabel

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

PUB: 07/20/2021 9:00 a.m. / DISC: 07/20/2021 09:02 a.m.

Copyright Business Wire 2021.

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Marshalls Planning Store at Town Center Staples, Closing Soon | Jax Daily Record | Jacksonville Daily Record

Staples intends to close on July 23 in downtown St. Johns and Marshalls is considering leasing space for a clothing and merchandise retail store.

Marshalls intends to occupy the space, according to a city building permit application.

Staples, a national retailer of office supplies and services, displayed signs on its windows stating its 75% clearance sale on in-store purchases and the July 23 shutdown. Posting hours are 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

The copy and print center is closed. Staples directs customers to the stores at 5800 Beach Blvd. near University Boulevard South; 11111, boulevard San José in Mandarin; and 4016 S. Third St. in Jacksonville Beach. It also has stores in Orange Park, St. Augustine and Fernandina Beach.

Staples Inc., based in Framingham, Mass., Did not respond to emails seeking comment.

Up to 75% off merchandise at Staples.

Staples operates more than 1,000 stores in the United States and plans for growth. Retail industry news site reported in May that Staples continued its acquisition of rival Office Depot.

In January, Office Depot’s parent company ODP Corp. turned down an offer from Staples to buy the company for $ 2.1 billion in cash, saying it was unlikely to overcome regulatory challenges, reported the news site.

He said in a letter detailing the response and rejection of the offer, ODP said it was open to a reshuffle of the deal, including combining their retail operations.

The building permit application for Marshalls shows the construction of a shell space at 10261 River Marsh Drive in the downtown corner where Staples operates.

Staples closes July 23.

No contractor is identified for the project estimated at $ 415,000.

Marshalls has six regional stores in North and West Jacksonville, Mandarin, Jacksonville Beach, Orange Park and St. Augustine.

“Marshalls has not announced a new store for the Jacksonville location at this time,” Carly Lucas, marketing director for TJX Marshalls, said by email on July 8.

TJX acquired Marshalls in 1995. TJX Companies Inc. also owns TJ Maxx, HomeGoods and other brands.

The company, also based in Framingham, Mass., Says it is the leading low-cost clothing and homewear retailer in the United States and around the world with more than 4,600 stores.

TJ Maxx and HomeGoods each have five regional stores.


Retail Heat Mapping: Know Your Customer

Barry Venter, CEO of Nashua.

With retailers struggling to keep their heads above water, they are increasingly turning to technology to help them identify what their customers want so they can plan their stores accordingly.

COVID-19 has changed shopping habits – perhaps forever – and physical retailers must compete with the online shopping experience to stay relevant. Plus, the fact that people are confined to their homes for months has changed what they buy and how they buy. All of this may force retailers to rethink their strategy to meet changing customer demand.

JP Morgan’s research into shoppers’ new buying habits during the lockdown indicates increased demand for cleaning products, vitamins, coloring and coffee, while sales of cosmetics and sunscreens have fallen dramatically . With this knowledge in hand, the retailer may need to reconsider their store aisle layout, but first they need to know for sure where their customers are spending their time – and money – at their point of sale.

Thermal mapping cameras that show retailers how today’s shoppers move around their store and where they spend the most time can provide the store owner with invaluable data, confirms Barry Venter, CEO of Nashua South Africa .

Thermal mapping is a technology that is often confused with thermal technology, but where one measures the temperature of individuals, the other follows people. Simply put, heat mapping is done using a camera that tracks and counts people as they move around a mall or an open area.

The cameras create a map that shows high and low traffic areas, using color to represent the routes customers take in the store. “The resulting data gives the store owner a deeper understanding of customers and their buying behavior, while providing the ability to optimize the store layout accordingly. “

A retailer can use heat mapping technology to determine which aisles are the most pedestrianized, which helps it determine where to position which items in the store, as well as optimal areas for specials. It becomes possible to track exactly how many shoppers walked past a particular display on a particular day, as well as analyze the flow of customers through the store to identify areas with low foot traffic and make necessary adjustments.

Knowing how many people are in your store also allows the retailer to ensure that enough checkout points are open to serve them. It also helps them comply with the number limitations imposed by the different COVID-19 lockdown levels by calculating the number of customers in stores, which helps prevent overcrowding. “The new people counting cameras can even recognize repeat entries or non-buyers (like staff and security) and exclude that data, ensuring an accurate count. “

This type of data can also help retailers identify peak shopping times, aid planning, as well as highlight whether there is an increase in the number of buyers as a result of a marketing campaign, by measuring its success or whatever.

Another benefit that retailers can gain from this data is the ability to understand the time that customers are spending in a particular part of the store. “It gives them a clear idea of ​​the relevance of the commodity in this area. They can even plan marketing campaigns to promote items located in other parts of the store, to attract customers there, ”Venter explains. “However, if the retailer finds that people spend a lot of time in a specific aisle but purchases in the area are low, the shelves may need to be restocked or the retailer may not have the brand. that customers are looking for. “

Allaying concerns about data privacy, Venter points out that the technology only collects data on the number of people in a specific area, not facial or personal data. The data is converted into an algorithm which cannot be converted back to a real image.

It has been said before and it will undoubtedly be repeated again: Data is the new gold, and knowing where hot spots and dead zones are in a retail store can be invaluable in helping a retailer improve their game. and deliver what the customer wants.

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Sosandar announces 35% growth in full-year turnover

For the fiscal year ended March 31, 2021, Sosandar Plc recorded revenue growth of 35% to £ 12.2 million.

The company said in a statement that the gross margin was stable at 48% from 48.5% in fiscal 2020, despite the effective use of promotional activities during foreclosure periods.

The company managed to reduce the EBITDA loss to 2.92 million pounds, from 7.66 million pounds the previous year.

Commenting on the annual performance, Ali Hall and Julie Lavington, the co-CEOs of the company said: revenue and reduced EBITDA losses.

“Following the fundraising in May, we now have the financial flexibility to allow us to accelerate our growth with third parties. At the same time, we had a record first quarter in the first quarter of fiscal 22 with strong sales of colorful dresses, tops and denim as our customers prepare for the summer months, ”added Hall and Lavington.

Operational highlights of fiscal year 2021 and Sosandar’s performance in the first quarter

During the year under review, the company continued to expand its product line, offering a 60 percent increase in new styles. The company added that new categories of loungewear, sportswear and leisure wear have been launched and casual and casual clothing lines have been expanded, in which denim, knitwear and outerwear have been expanded. particularly well performed.

In the first quarter of 2022, Sosandar’s sales of 5.7 million pounds increased 256% compared to the first quarter of fiscal 21. The company recorded a 45% increase in sales compared to fourth quarter, thanks to very strong sales of spring-summer products from the start of the season.

Sosandar further said the number of orders has tripled year on year with a record quarter for new and repeat orders with an acquisition cost less than half of pre-pandemic levels. Compared to the fourth quarter, new and repeat orders increased 40%, while active customers increased 23%.

The company raised £ 5.43million in funding and appointed Steve Dilks to the company’s board of directors as chief financial officer in May 2021.

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Driver suffered from apparent medical episode before breaking into Long Island home – CBS New York

WILLISTON PARK, NY (CBSNewYork) – Police said a driver suffered from an apparent medical episode and crashed into a house in Williston Park, Long Island.

As CBS2’s Natalie Duddridge reports, surveillance footage shows a burgundy Cadillac at high speed through an intersection, narrowly missing a white SUV. He walks through the parking lot of a clothing store, entering a storage container and the house behind it, near William Street and Willis Avenue.

READ MORE: Rescuers go above and beyond during – and after – Island Heights, NJ Hot Car Rescue; “She couldn’t believe it”

Chopper 2 shows the impact also sent a parked black SUV through a fence.

“I hear a big bang coming out of my left ear. I look across the street, I see a car in the house, ”said Dylan Guo of Euro Car Auto Repair.

Repair shop workers rushed to help and found a male driver in the vehicle.

“He was conscious at the time, not really responsive, completely dazed,” Guo said.

Police believe the man suffered a medical episode that caused him to crash. He was freed from the vehicle. Witnesses saw EMS attempting to save him.

READ MORE: Hearing held on New York City’s ranked choice voting system – Lawmakers examine what worked and what didn’t

” That’s a great man. They activated the heart and the stomach, ”said Frank Sacco.

His devastated family told Duddridge off camera that he had failed.

The residents inside the house were too shaken to speak to the camera.

“Thank goodness no one was hurt in the house because it broke the kitchen cabinets,” Sacco said.

Neighbors say the parking lot is normally full and they’re just happy no one else was hurt.

“Thank goodness no one was here,” said one person.

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Once the vehicle was towed, the Ministry of Buildings began its assessment of the damage to the house. For now, residents have been told that is not sure.

Burlington chain of stores opens new location in Sarasota in fall

Burlington Stores, the national retailer formerly known as the Burlington Coat Factory, said its last location in the Sarasota area will open in the fall.

The store chain, which sells clothing, shoes and accessories, as well as home decor, pet care, toys and baby supplies at discounted prices, plans to open its new store in Pelican Plaza in Sarasota over the next few months. The store will be located in the former Sports Authority area located at 8372 S. Tamiami Trail.

Space:Sarasota Sports Authority stores to close this week

Other retail news:Crunch Fitness Invests $ 1.1 Million In Sarasota Gyms

Buyers of the new store will be able to take advantage of Burlington’s layaway program, which is a kind of find now and pay later policy.

It allows buyers to set aside any merchandise they want for 30 days with a minimum deposit of $ 10 or 20%, whichever is greater, plus a $ 5 service charge. Once the purchase is fully paid, customers can take them home.

Once the Sarasota site opens, Burlington will have 73 locations in Florida, according to the company. Burlington recently opened a store in Venice at 1683 US 41 Bypass South.

The company also has local stores at 3941 Cattlemen Road in Sarasota and 19400 Cochran Boulevard in Port Charlotte.

Pelican Plaza, located across from Sarasota Square Mall, was purchased by Benderson Development Co. of Manatee County in 2012 and has since undergone a total makeover. Recent additions include Chick-fil-A, Aspen Dental, and the Center for Sight.

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