Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yet another independent magazine outlet -- Duthie's Books -- to close next month

Yet another independent book and magazine store is closing, this time Duthie's Books in the Kitsilano district of Vancouver. It is the last store in what was an 8-store chain, but the Duthie family is packing it in at their 4th Avenue location at the end of February, after 53 years in business. A press release on its website said the following, in part:
Everybody knows that independent bookstores have been under pressure from the 'big box' operations for many years now and it is clear that it is not going to get any better; the likes of Chapters, and Amazon are ruthless in their drive for market share and we cannot compete on price anymore. The book itself is in the throes of a technological transformation and book readers undergoing a major demographic shift.

We are closing now while we can do so in an orderly fashion and not under any pressure from banks or suppliers. Duthies went through a radical restructuring 10 years ago and frankly, we do not want to go through that again.

Cathy Duthie Legate (shown, above) told the Vancouver Sun
"I'm just not making it, so I'm going to close it down," said Duthie Legate. "We are going to start our regular sale January 28, but it will be better, of course, with discounts of 40, 60 then 80 percent and I hope to have all the books out of here by the end of February."

"Then I will tear down the store," she said. "I'm sorry that it will leave a void in the city....
"The last two years have been brutal," she said. "When the dollar went par that hurt and then last year hurt. Most of the year we run in the red and at Christmas we run in the black," she said. And this year my black wasn't as black as it should have been."
The recession and big box and online competition from the likes of Chapters and Amazon  have had a devastating effect on independents, on which many independent magazines rely for newsstand sales. 
[photo: Mark van Manen, Vancouver Sun files]
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Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't know about Duthie's Books but indy bookstores (and all other small mom-and-pop shops for that matter) in Toronto and Southern Ontario don't seem to understand the importance of customer service. If they can't beat the online giants and big-box stores on price or selection, offering friendly service is all the more important.

8:28 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

And employees at Chapters are customer service friendly? Yikes. Online and digital all the way.

9:44 am  

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