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More than 20,000 customers have purchased books from Bookshop.org in the past week. A new online bookshop set up to compete with Amazon has proved a hit with the public, selling more than £415,000 worth of books in its opening week.
Billed as an ethical alternative to Amazon, Bookshop’s UK launch came during Wales’ 17-day “firebreak” lockdown, and days before thousands of physical bookshops in England were forced to shut their premises for a second lockdown there.
Unlike Amazon and most high-street book chains, Bookshop was established to boost sales at local, independent retailers, rather than entice customers away.
Visitors to the site can search for their preferred local bookshops and buy from there, in which case the bookshop gets 30 per cent of the cover price, without the seller needing to fulfil any of the time-consuming logistics typically involved such as packaging goods and posting them out.
Alternatively, they can purchase a book without going through a specific bookshop, in which case 10 per cent of the profit goes into a central pot to be distributed among all affiliates.
More than 150 sellers across the UK are currently signed up to the site. Last week, Bookshop made more than £82,000 to be shared among them, the business reported.
Nicole Vanderbilt, Bookshop’s UK managing director, said : “We are very pleased with the results and we feel we have been very warmly welcomed by publishers, bookshops and, most importantly, readers. Our top 15 performing bookshops include bookshops from all four nations.”
“People are looking to support businesses they care about in their communities and…have realised even more acutely during the pandemic how addicted they are to Amazon. But there are other ways to get the things you want and need,” she said.