Hedley Gordon is the owner of Book Review in St Ives. He is a long term of client of Imagine Accounting and works closely with Peter Caunt, Senior Director. We spoke to Hedley and found out how became involved in books and how he navigated competition from the internet.
What is your background and how did you become involved in books?
My father owned bookstores in South Africa. I swore I would never get into retail seeing all the stress he went through. After I completed my accounting degree, my Father needed help so I joined. We expanded to 4 stores before I emigrated to Australia some 38 years ago.
Tell us about your shop Book Review
We purchased Book Review almost 20 years ago and changed name in 2000 from Peter’s books to Book Review. We worked very hard to make it a family business. It really took off until we were surrounded by three Borders book stores – we thought our days were numbered. We not only weathered the onslaught but like the old Roman Empire – they have gone and we are still around.
One of our strengths is the fact that our staff actually read very well and are able to help with book selections. Our children’s section has grown and we attract authors regularly to talk to the children and sign books. We have exciting displays and have a reputation for the finest expensive books covering all subjects. If we do not have a book in stock, we have a very efficient special ordering department sourcing books from all over the world.
How did your book shop navigate competition from the internet and then problems from COVID-19?
We traded throughout and did not close for one day. We also offered a delivery service and our web orders increase as well.
Where do you see the book industry and your business in 5 years?
I believe that small well run specialised stores will survive
How do you market and grow your business?
We have a well-run rewards programme offering cash discounts. We also upgraded our web site and offer old-fashioned service.
Any tips for a small business owner?
Good luck ha ha
How have Imagine Accounting assisted you?
Always ready to listen and give sound advice
What is the best way for someone to contact Book Review?
TEL 02 9144 7837 email email@example.com