Booksellers Association Announces Launch of BAseline

The Booksellers Association (BA) has announced that its Independent Booksellers Forum Fitness Programme is to be relaunched as BAseline, with a simpler entry form, at-a-glance report cards for each individual bookseller and free mentoring support.

A free, confidential service, provided by Nielsen Book Research on behalf of the Booksellers Association, BAseline is a benchmarking survey designed to help independent booksellers gain more insight into their business. Participants will receive a report on the independent bookselling sector, as well as a detailed personalised report on their own business.

BAseline data provides both booksellers and the BA with vital insights into key areas across the sector, including emerging trends and developments in bookselling which can be incorporated into business strategies. The aggregated data will also be highly valuable for the BA, providing key information on the realities of bookselling today, which will help support their ongoing lobbying on behalf of independent bookshops.

By using BAseline, booksellers will be able to compare their business performance against the wider sector, monitor their performance against the industry over time, and review areas ranging from staff costs and overheads, to product sales and rents, to ultimately adapt and strengthen their business.

Meryl Halls, Managing Director of the Bookseller’s Association said: “The importance of data for and about independent booksellers can’t be overstated. It’s a vital asset to the BA in representing the cause of independent bookselling to the trade and beyond. And it’s an incredibly valuable tool for booksellers to understand their business. We’ve made BAseline (formerly the Fitness Programme) easier to use, and I urge all independent booksellers to spend the little time that it takes to submit an entry.”

To participate, booksellers need to complete their BAseline entry by Sunday 31st May 2020. Information on submission can be found on the BA website, and booksellers are offered free access to a mentor from Unwin Charitable Trust Mentoring Programme to help entries, interpret BAseline reports and implement business development plans accordingly.

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