BOOKSHOPS CLOSING seems to be the theme of the month with Quench, St Albans, having announced closure at the end of the month (now also reported in the St Albans & Harpenden Review, 19/12/2011: Quench, Bon Marche and Dash to go), news emerging of Open Door Bookshop, Middlesbrough, having ceased trading and the Christian Bookshop, Chelmsford, due to close its doors in January (BBC News Essex report; also reported in the Chelmsford Weekly News, 14/12/2011: Chelmsford’s Christian Bookshop to close).
But one shop, Unity Bookshop in Petersfield, Hampshire, isn’t giving up without a fight and has launched a fundraising appeal to raise £10,000 to offset an ongoing annual deficit of £5,000 and — if the plan comes together — keep the shop open through 2012. Whether the shop can remain open beyond 2012 remains an open question, however: whilst donations can help as a one-off solution, in the longer term, like any shop, what’s actually needed is more customers. Speaking to The News, Portsmouth, Di Mackarness, chairwoman of the shop’s trustees, describes the situation:
It would be desperately sad if we had to close, but we have to be business-like about it, and if it comes to the crunch we will bow out with dignity.
But not without a fight first.We’ve never had to ask for funding before and we didn’t think we would need to.
We thought we could weather the storm like we have done in the past. But now we feel like we’re fighting a losing battle because technology is so advanced and less and less people are using the shop.
Donations will really help us get back on our feet in the short term, but in the long run what we really need is for more people to shop there.
- Read the full story: Petersfield shop facing closure after 24 years