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Indie Retail UK partners with TraffikFlo to help independent retailers manage social distancing

19 Nov 2020

Indie Retail are delighted to announce a partnership between themselves and the app-controlled window display sign TraffikFlo, enabling more shops to simply and effectively manage social... Read more…

BA Issues Open Letter Calling on Government to Reclassify Bookshops as Essential Retailers

10 Nov 2020

The Booksellers Association (BA) has today written to key government Ministers and selected Lords letter calling on the Government to classify bookshops as essential retailers therefore... Read more…

Black Friday spending expected to increase to 6 billion

9 Nov 2020

The overall spend across the UK will increase by £400 million from £5.60 billion projection in 2019
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6 Nov 2020

The greeting card industry is coming together to try and get the government to rethink on the second lockdown.
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Learn how to improve your social media with the Maybe* webinar

5 Nov 2020

Join Maybe* next Monday for a webinar to learn how you can optimise social media to maximise your consumer reach!

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BA Issues Open Letter Calling on Government to Reclassify Bookshops as Essential Retailers

Posted on in Business News

ThBAe Booksellers Association (BA), member of the Independent Retailers Confederation (IRC) has today written to key government Ministers and selected Lords letter calling on the Government to classify bookshops as essential retailers therefore allowing them to reopen under current lockdown restrictions in England, and laying the groundwork for the essential designation to be implemented for future lockdowns.

The open letter, written by the Bookseller's Association MD, Meryl Halls, to Minsters at BEIS, HMCLG and DCMS outlines the many ways in which bookshops provide an essential contribution to society, from the proven links between reading and improved mental wellbeing, to providing educational resources to children and adults, to contributing to local economies.

The BA argues that the Christmas trading period is the most important time of year and can make or break the sustainability of a local bookshop. The BA draws on the example of garden centres being belatedly classified as essential due to them being deemed beneficial to the nation's health, while avoiding catastrophic losses should the sector have missed out on Spring trading.

The letter also highlights the inconsistencies within the current definitions of essential retail, underlining the commercial disadvantage faced by bookshops, with essential retailers that sell books being allowed to remain open, while booksellers themselves are forced to shut up shop.

Meryl Halls, MD at the Booksellers Association, said: "On behalf of our members, we urge the Government to categorise bookshops as essential retailers. Bookshops play a unique part in the culture of our country and books have a crucial role to play in the health and well-being of our population. Bookshops have been designated as essential in other countries, and the ‘essential' categorisation will acknowledge the crucial role that bookshops play in our culture, economy and wider society."

Echoing the words of Philip Pullman, Halls added: "Bookshops are lanterns of civilisation and, for many, beacons of hope. We urge the Government to consider classifying them as essential retailers."

The BA's open letter to Minsiters calling on bookshops to be classified as essential can be read in full here.

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