Bookshop.org, the online book shopping platform that has now raised over $6.5 million for independent bookstores that are affiliated with it, is now available to the U.K. trade and will be open to consumers in November.
Bookshop founder and CEO, Andy Hunter, said: "Bookshops are essential to a healthy culture, and online sales are vital to safeguarding their future. COVID-19 has added further urgency to the need for bookshops to compete for online sales.
"Bookshop’s mission is to support local, brick and mortar bookstores and preserve them as vital parts of our communities, giving them a simple, free, easy-to-use platform to serve their customers online, and providing financial support with our profit-sharing affiliate program."
Nicole Vanderbilt, U.K. managing director at Bookshop, and formerly international v-p at Etsy, said: "At a time when Amazon has enjoyed even greater advantage over high street competitors as a result of the pandemic, Bookshop offers a socially conscious alternative to consumers wishing to shop online, while supporting bookshops in competing in an ecommerce environment. We’re delighted to be launching in the U.K. and look forward to working with bookshops, publishers, authors, and beyond across the U.K."
Bookshop is working with U.K. wholesaler Gardners, which is handling fulfillment.
Meryl Halls, managing director of the U.K.'s Booksellers Association, said the BA has been following Bookshop's progress in the U.S. and is excited it is now opening in the U.K. "We’ve seen Bookshop.org emerge as an innovative partner for U.S. indie booksellers, and its mission to support and empower bookshops online is ever-more important in the U.K. – especially now, as the high street rebuilds, consumers tentatively return to shops, and retailers need to continue to offer a hybrid model to their customers. This new world that UK independent booksellers need to operate in requires a new model, and we know that Bookshop.org has proven to be that for U.S. indie booksellers," she said in a statement.
"A high profile alternative to Amazon in the lead up to Christmas can only help high street independents achieve increased cut-through online with Amazon-averse consumers, authors and others who want to support their local high streets and shop independently."
A longer version of this story appeared in the U.K. trade publication BookBrunch.