THANK YOU to everyone who has responded to my earlier shout out about UKCBD updates, with particular thanks to Mike Norbury and Jacques More for their efforts in supplying me with updated info on many shops. I’m pleased to report that those updates are well underway, with 28 entries updated so far this month and more to follow over the next few weeks. As well as the ten most recent updates being featured on the Directory homepage, all updates are now being logged here for quick reference: Latest Updates.
It’s encouraging to see so many shops pressing on, some even thriving against the odds in the current economic climate; and it’s even more encouraging when I find myself adding new entries such as Angeli, Cambridge: my personal congratulations to one and all — long may it continue!
Today I’d like to highlight one particular entry: Christian Resource Centre, Eastbourne: it’s a superb example of what a fully-featured UKCBD entry looks like, with contact details, opening times, checklist of services offered, logo, shop photo, description, mission statement and facebook links – and begs the question, how does your shop’s entry compare?
If your entry looks a little threadbare by comparison or it’s a while since it was updated, please give me a shout or leave a comment on the Latest Updates page; but please be patient when you do: UKCBD is a 100% voluntary project that I have to fit in around other commitments, and it can take anything from a few days to several weeks for me to slot an update in — the more notice you can give me, the better. As for why it matters, have you ever searched Google for a Christian bookshop or Christian bookshops? UKCBD consistently appears in the top ten search results, often even when searching for specific shops by name, sometimes even ranked well above shops’ own websites: UKCBD offers you a golden opportunity to draw in customers who might otherwise go elsewhere.
CRC Eastbourne also make a very good case study of a shop that’s bucking the trend — if you’ve got a good memory, you’ll recall my reporting the store’s success back in August after it was featured in the local press: Pause for Thought with Ray Dadswell: Things are looking up (Eastbourne Herald, 15/08/2011).
So what, exactly, are Bob Clark and his team doing that other bookshops may be missing? One opportunity to find out should be the Seminar Programme at the 2012 Christian Resources Together (CRT) Retailers & Suppliers Retreat, where Bob is scheduled to appear as one of the speakers alongside Clem Jackson (one of the shop’s trustees as well as editor of Christian Marketplace magazine) and Chris Hartington (from the shop’s Management Committee) in a Wednesday morning session entitled “Pulling in the Same Direction”. All Christian retailers should have received 2012 CRT info packs through the post by now, but if you’ve missed out or mislaid your copy, fear not; courtesy of Steve Briars, you can download a copy here: CRT 2012 Retailers & Suppliers Retreat (pdf, 2.1MB).
- Jacques More introduces two of his books: So You Think You’re Chosen? and Serious Mistranslations of the Bible
- Mike Norbury reflects on some of things retailers can do to help improve sales and service