Over the past two years Minnesota-based wholesaler East View Map Link has moved into the trade bookstore market and encouraged independents as well as chains like Hastings Entertainment to carry maps. This fall it also led map-buying programs at several regional trade shows. Now East View is looking to extend its reach and help retailers develop travel sections with its recent acquisition of online travel retailer Longitude Books.
Longitude creates lists of books and maps for particular tourist destinations, then sells them to travelers who are referred by their tour company or travel agent. While the purchase will put East View into the reseller market, managing director Christopher Group sees it more as an opportunity for booksellers to use Longitude’s lists to enhance their own travel selections. Through Longitude, Group hopes to help with one of the problems that East View has identified--that many booksellers don’t know what to stock in their travel sections.
"Our goal is to build better travel departments [at bookstores], because better travel departments sell more books. We’re getting a lot closer to being [a booksellers’] resource as well as their source,” Group said. Booksellers will have access to Longitude’s information and can order through East View or a wholesaler or publisher of their choice. By next fall Group would like to solve another difficulty, display.