A Great Start to the Holiday Season for Many SIBA Stores
It was a big weekend for booksellers across the country. In SIBA territory, the reports coming in are exuberant! I volunteered on Saturday at Avid Bookshop’s Five Points location in Athens, GA, where customers were greeted personally and guided to books they wanted and some they didn’t know they wanted! Avid’s sideline selection is stunning--by turns hilarious and honoring of all things literary and unique. I purchased a lovely hand-felted angel ornament for a friend, and a birthday card from Red Caps Press. I intend to pick up a set of “Journals for the Middle Child” on a future visit. A gift to myself :)
I worked with John and Christy, both on Avid’s events team, and with Janet, the store’s owner. This is the first year of The Avid Bookshop Bash (TABB), five days of celebration centered around the weekend after Thanksgiving. After each purchase, Avid booksellers offered customers prizes ranging from gift cards to commemorative bookmarks. As I wrapped gifts, I overheard so many customers praising the store and staff and making plans to come back before TABB ended on Giving Tuesday.
More reports from SIBA stores about their weekend sales:
Kimberly Daniels Taws, The Country Bookshop, Southern Pines, NC:
“Small Business Saturday was a big day for us. We gave everyone 10% off (something new for us) and we were up 42% over last year! This is really interesting and I think driven by our "spend $50 and get a gift" because we only had 8 more transactions than last year but sold 121 more units. The incentive of a gift at that price point, just higher than a hard cover and a paperback caused people to really increase their units per purchase. We saw a GREAT many out-of-towners, and locals who are discovering the bookshop for the first time, or making an annual pilgrimage.
We sold a lot of the staff picks, big books (Obama, Sparks, Jeff Kinney), and saw a real drive for autographed books. We also sold A LOT of The Broken Ornament. The Invisible Ink little books by Lee Publications are at very low price point and have sold very well for us.”
Jamie Rogers Southern, Bookmarks, Winston-Salem, NC:
“We had a great weekend! Because of our nonprofit status, we cannot flat out do "shop small" promotions so ours is more of a quiet attack. We had board members in to provide free gift wrapping throughout the weekend and our board president offered to match all purchases as a donation to our Book Build initiative during her shift. She ended up donating $1,400!
We were up 33% on the weekend and top selling items were: Becoming, We Should All Be Feminists, Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows, Wimpy Kid Meltdown, and Shade. Some of these titles were because we have our staff picks of 2018 reading up and people heavily shop off of them at the holidays. We did not do much programming this year, just our regular storytime and book art by a local artist on Saturday afternoon.
I loved seeing so many of our regular customers and volunteers bring in family and friends who were visiting from out of town and overhearing them talk about the bookstore as theirs!”
Stephanie Crowe, Page & Palette, Fairhope, Alabama: “Page & Palette had a busy day on Saturday, which included author visits by Karyn Tunks, author of Mardi Gras in Mobile and Michael and Sarah Hewes, authors of The Tempestuous Trial of Maybelline Meriweather.”
Pictured below from left to right are the authors visiting Page & Palette, a scene from Bookmarks, and the front and back sides of Avid's commemorative TABB bookmarks.