Nasher

 

The 112yearold Lello Bookstore in Porto, Portugal, is considered to be one of the most beautiful and popular bookshops in the world, with up to 5,000 visitors coming through its doors every day to explore its history and enjoy their favorite titles from its huge collection of books.

Four years ago, the store almost went bankrupt because of high maintenance expenses. In a bid to rescue the business, Lello started charging an entry fee. Unexpectedly, this contributed to an increase in the number of visitors to 1.2 million in 2017, who paid a four-euro entry fee.

To encourage visitors to buy books, the bookstore deducted the value of the entry ticket from books purchased, which increased sales in 2017 to 7.2 million euros, compared to 5.1 million euros in 2016. With 280,000 titles sold in 2017, the bookstore has become a unique phenomenon and a remarkable case study.