Sarum College Bookshop in Salisbury has been shortlisted for a specialist award to independent bookshops.
The British Book Awards revealed its regional shortlists for the 2020 Independent Bookshop of the Year last week. Sarum College’s shop is among the record-breaking 49 bookshops from nine regions competing to be named the country’s best indie retailer for books.
Personal customer service is key to succeeding as an independent in the tough retail market where local-run shops compete with huge conglomerates.
‘It’s all about the customers, really,’ says Emily Button, bookshop manager. We don’t think twice about offering to drop a customer’s book off on our way home, or sorting out a lift into Salisbury for a rural customer.’
‘We’re fortunate that so many of our customers feel like friends and are grateful for their support, whether that’s watching over our bookstall while we nip to the Ladies or bringing us a welcome cup of tea when we’re surrounded by a long queue of buyers at an event. And if they say ‘it had a blue cover’ we’ll do our best Miss Marple to work out which book it is without the name of the author or book!’
The shops will compete to win their regional category before vying for the overall prize, to be given out at the British Book Awards ceremony, at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on May 18.
Sarum College Bookshop was Independent Bookshop of the year regional finalist in 2017 and has been shortlisted in 2016, 2015, 2013 and 2010.