The Booksellers Association (BA) has today announced a fourth consecutive year of growth in the number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland, following a previous two decades of decline.
Released as part of the Booksellers Association’s annual membership survey, the number of independent bookshops in BA membership at the end of 2020 grew to 967 shops, up from 890 shops in 2019, 883 in 2018 and 868 in 2017. This figure marks the highest number of independent bookshops in BA membership since 2013.
New independent bookshops to open in 2020 include:
- Adventure into Books, Perthshire, Scotland
- ARTtic, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Wales
- Bear Bookshop, West Midlands
- Book and Kulture, London
- Books at One Letterfrack, Galway, Ireland
- Chapter One Loftus, North Yorkshire
- Darling Reads, West Yorkshire
- Daunt Books, Oxfordshire
- East Gate Bookshop, Devon
- Ginger and Pickles Children’s Bookshop, Edinburgh, Scotland
- Little Toller Books, Dorset
- Not Just Books, Norfolk
- Parade’s End, Surrey
- The Book Nook Stewarton, Ayrshire, Scotland
- The Hastings Bookshop, East Sussex
- The Secret Bookshelf, County Antrim, Northern Ireland
Meryl Halls, Managing Director at the Booksellers Association, said: “It has been an incredibly difficult year for booksellers, and the High Street as a whole, so it is fantastic to see the number of independent bookshops in the UK and Ireland increase for a fourth consecutive year.
“COVID-19, national lockdowns and shifting tier systems have had a huge impact on bookshops across the country, with footfall significantly reduced, the supply chain affected, and competition from tech giants more unfair than ever. Thankfully, booksellers were able to adapt quickly to the new realities of 2020, pivoting their services online and finding new ways to reach their customers and continue operating.
“2021 is likely to be another challenging year for booksellers as the full impact of the pandemic on the High Street becomes apparent. However, this year has proven the resilience, resourcefulness and dedication of booksellers, and we will do everything we can to support them as they look ahead and plan for a post-pandemic future.”