Below is the article that appeared in the Bankstown local newspaper. Following its publication, we were inundated by locals calling in, dismayed by the news. As touching as their sentiments were, it was a little too late.
In the article, I’m quoted as blaming ebooks and the internet for the demise of our business. That’s not all together true. Though we were never able to compete on the web against the major online stores, the combination of high rent and low inflationary pressures had much bigger impact on our ability to remain a viable business.
Internet sounding book store death knell
WHILE many bricks-and-mortar retailers have been hit hard by online sales, arguably none have suffered more than the traditional book shop.
Book stores have done it tough with the rise of ebooks and the internet radically changing the public’s reading habits.
As international online giants push their way into the marketplace, countless book stores have closed, and Bankstown is the latest casualty. One of the last remaining large style book stores, Your Bookshop will close in Bankstown on Sunday, after 23 years.
Owners Bonnie and Mark Serov said it was a tough decision.
“The book business is not like your average business,” Bonnie said. “We have strong community connections, and closing will impact on many of our customers.”
Rising costs, coupled with a drastic drop in sales, has meant the business is no longer viable, Bonnie said.
The Bankstown store was established by Bonnie’s father, Kamal Dastyari, in 1993. Despite the demise of Angus & Robertson in 2011, Mr Dastyari never lost faith in the future of books and eventually opened four more stores across Sydney.
Bonnie and her husband Mark took over the family’s five book stores after Mr Dastyari’s death in 2014.
“We closed our stores at Blacktown and Top Ryde last year, and are in the process of selling our Merrylands shop,” Bonnie said. “After Bankstown shuts on Sunday, The Rhodes shop will also close by the end of the year.”
Bonnie blames ebooks and the internet: “We once supplied 20 local schools with books, and that dried up when schools began sourcing their books directly from suppliers over the internet. The same has happened with libraries.”
What did you think? Have you had a local bookstore closing down? How did you feel? Plenty of book lovers and customers have shared their stories on our facebook page. I love reading them. And can’t wait to read yours, so feel free to share them with me in the comments section.