Thursday, November 19, 2015

Putting Your Best Square Foot Forward

It used to be a rule that if you carried bargain books you put them in front or toward the front of your bookstore. It was a way of saying thank you to your loyal customers and welcome to your new customers. Impulse sales were created as customers walked through the bargain areas to get everything else they needed. Sidewalk sales in front of main street bookstores were great promotional tools.

Then came calendars, eating up bargain book space in the front zones around the cashiers and foyers during the biggest retail months of the year. Then kiosks (if by kiosks we mean gargantuan swaths of real estate that could have been stand-alone stores on their own) to sell Kobos or Nooks or whatever other brain melting tech was being pushed by the media moguls at the moment. The space traditionally used to sell bargain was just about gone, squeezed into small end caps around the security hardware or along the baseboards next to the restrooms.

Now that books are kicking the assets out of e-readers, and calendars are a bit more obsolete every year, how about putting your bargain books back where they belong? The electronic stuff can go on slat boards near your reference and education sections, or maybe near your retirement and senior health books, judging by the demographic that still swoons over those things, and you can watch as your customers buy all those books they now know they love all over again.

Bargain books are not just discount merchandise, they are the entrĂ©e to unexplored categories and authors. Your customers will thank you with their dollars for giving them the opportunity to get acquainted with whole new reading realms, and for being able to try out new authors without spending the big bucks, so pack up the "kiosks" and stack up the bargains!

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