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Article
Publication date: 1 April 1964

UNA J. DILLON

A young man came for an interview recently as he wished to talk over the possibilities of making a career in bookselling. After some discussion he put a question to me…

Abstract

A young man came for an interview recently as he wished to talk over the possibilities of making a career in bookselling. After some discussion he put a question to me: ‘You have frequently used the term “university bookselling”. Is it so different from bookselling in general?’ This was not easy to answer briefly, and on further consideration it becomes even more difficult, for it is clear that the fundamental aims of all types of bookseller are the same. They could be summed up as a, to carry as good an overall stock as capital and space permit, b, to give a good service to customers, and c, to sell as many books as possible at the best terms which can be obtained. These are common to us all, and the only difference in university bookselling is in the scope of what is required under a and b.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Gary Warnaby and Joanne Upton

Resale price maintenance (RPM) is widely regarded as having a retardingeffect on market development. The abolition of RPM in the 1960s provideda catalyst for the…

1540

Abstract

Resale price maintenance (RPM) is widely regarded as having a retarding effect on market development. The abolition of RPM in the 1960s provided a catalyst for the development of the multiple retailer who, by virtue of scale economies, was able to compete aggressively on price for the first time. However, RPM remains in the UK bookselling sector in the form of the Net Book Agreement (NBA) and arguably many of the developments in the retailing industry of the last 30 years have passed this sector by. In the light of current challenges to the NBA from within the industry and other environmental factors affecting this sector, considers the impact on market development when one of a retailer′s important marketing weapons, namely price, is removed from its armoury. Reports results of an exploratory study into trade perceptions of the effect on market development of the NBA. Frames the analysis within the current theories of retail institutional change, concluding that a combination of environmental, cyclical and conflict theories of change is the most appropriate framework for an explanation of the current situation and future prospects in this sector.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 22 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1967

Whereas the Minister of Labour (hereafter in this Order referred to as “the Minister”) has received from the Retail Bookselling and Stationery Trades Wages Council (Great…

Abstract

Whereas the Minister of Labour (hereafter in this Order referred to as “the Minister”) has received from the Retail Bookselling and Stationery Trades Wages Council (Great Britain) the wages regulation proposals set out in the Schedule hereto;

Details

Managerial Law, vol. 2 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0558

Article
Publication date: 1 March 2006

Audrey Laing and Jo Royle

The purpose of this paper is to identify current marketing initiatives undertaken by UK chain booksellers and analyses them in the context of established retailing and…

3528

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to identify current marketing initiatives undertaken by UK chain booksellers and analyses them in the context of established retailing and marketing theory. Thus, established scholarly theory is being examined in a novel research setting.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper includes evidence and findings from semi‐structured, in‐depth interviews with various book trade experts working at different levels within the trade.

Findings

Focusing on the strategies behind the chains' marketing techniques, the paper concentrates in particular upon the new emphasis by UK chains upon serving a wider clientele and their efforts to establish individual identities and be “community responsive”. This has resulted in a re‐emphasis both upon customer service and on the relationship between bookseller and customer. New developments in the facilities to be found in chain bookshops, such as coffee shops and the proliferation of sofas and browsing areas are analysed as to their contribution to bookshop “atmosphere”.

Originality/value

This research is both timely, responding to calls from the trade for research and original, given the dearth of research on the book trade. The findings are examined within the context of academic theory in related fields, such as retailing, marketing and consumer behaviour. As such, findings from this highly original research are relevant both for the trade and for the wider academic community regarding their application and consideration in other scholarly settings.

Details

International Journal of Retail & Distribution Management, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-0552

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 April 1964

JULIAN BLACKWELL

‘The library founded by the first Ptolemies was in the most splendid district in the city … where a number of scholars were maintained at public expense in order to devote…

Abstract

‘The library founded by the first Ptolemies was in the most splendid district in the city … where a number of scholars were maintained at public expense in order to devote themselves entirely to the pursuit of knowledge.’ The University of Alexandria acquired most of its books by the simple process of appropriating all that came into the city; these Ptolemy caused to be copied and a fair copy returned to the owner. Many university librarians must envy the Alexandrians not only the ‘most splendid district in the city’, but also this method of acquiring books. Even at that time there were booksellers in Athens, and the need for a middle man was being recognized, a need that I am sure no university librarian would dispute today.

Details

Journal of Documentation, vol. 20 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0022-0418

Article
Publication date: 9 April 2018

Yuliya Snihur

This paper aims to examine Borders response to business model innovation (BMI) by Amazon in the bookselling industry. The case illuminates potential causes for protracted…

1705

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine Borders response to business model innovation (BMI) by Amazon in the bookselling industry. The case illuminates potential causes for protracted periods of organizational unlearning, explaining why organizational unlearning, although beneficial in many documented cases, can also be insufficient to prevent failure.

Design/methodology/approach

Archival data are used to study Borders’s historical evolution from 1995 to its 2011 bankruptcy. Theoretical inferences are drawn from this case to shed light on the process of organizational unlearning.

Findings

Borders failed because its top managers were unable to adjust its traditionalist superstore identity to respond in an adequate manner to the changes in their environment. Instead, the company went through protracted phases of weathering the storm, denial and unlearning, resulting in bankruptcy. This extreme case of failure explains why sometimes, organizational unlearning might be insufficient, resulting in organizational demise rather than renewal.

Research limitations/implications

A longitudinal study of an extreme case allows the author to build links between the research on organizational unlearning and the scholarship on organizational identity.

Practical implications

Organizations may survive longer if their top managers engage in the process of organizational identity change in response to BMI in their industry. The article proposes a few actions that organizations might usefully take to react to BMI before it is too late.

Social implications

Better understanding of failure may enable preventive behavior.

Originality/value

This article explains how organizational identity prevents learning the right things and augments the dangers organizations face during unlearning.

Details

The Learning Organization, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-6474

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Helen Paige

Learning and knowledge in all its various forms have always played an important role in economic development. A major focus however, has been on the impact of the…

1046

Abstract

Learning and knowledge in all its various forms have always played an important role in economic development. A major focus however, has been on the impact of the knowledge‐based economy on big, rather than small businesses. The purpose of this qualitative study was to determine whether a group of small business owner/managers participated in a range of learning activities, and if so, what those learning activities were. At the same time, the extent to which owner/managers of small businesses were aware of the knowledge‐based economy was also explored, as was the degree to which they participated in it. It was found that, participation in learning did occur, but that greater reliance was placed on informal rather than formal learning. It was also found that the understanding of the knowledge‐based economy varied considerably from those who had some knowledge of the concept, to those who had no understanding at all. While this study is regional in nature, it makes a valid contribution to the study of small business learning from a global perspective.

Details

Journal of Workplace Learning, vol. 14 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1366-5626

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 January 1974

D.H. Noble

As television has grown from the mild diversion it was in the early 1950s to the national obsession it has now become, so our cultural watchdogs have warned us that…

Abstract

As television has grown from the mild diversion it was in the early 1950s to the national obsession it has now become, so our cultural watchdogs have warned us that, amongst other things, it would be instrumental in killing the function of reading. Yet there is evidence that this is by no means true; the burgeoning years of paperbacks have coincided with the boom years of TV, and how much ‘serious’ reading has in fact been stimulated by TV's more cultural offerings? Whatever the truth of the matter, D.H. Noble argues that currently we are witnessing a resurgence in the bookshop business.

Details

Retail and Distribution Management, vol. 2 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0307-2363

Article
Publication date: 1 July 1962

R.D. MACLEOD

William Blackwood, the founder of the firm of the name, saw service in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London before opening in 1804 as a bookseller at 64 South Bridge, Edinburgh…

Abstract

William Blackwood, the founder of the firm of the name, saw service in Edinburgh, Glasgow, and London before opening in 1804 as a bookseller at 64 South Bridge, Edinburgh. Blackwood continued in his bookselling capacity for a number of years, and his shop became a haunt of the literati, rivalling Constable's in reputation and in popularity. His first success as a publisher was in 1811, when he brought out Kerr's Voyages, an ambitious item, and followed shortly after by The Life of Knox by McCrie. About this time he became agent in Edinburgh for John Murray, and the two firms did some useful collaborating. Blackwood was responsible for suggesting alterations in The Black Dwarf, which drew from Scott that vigorous letter addressed to James Ballantyne which reads: “Dear James,—I have received Blackwood's impudent letter. G ‐ d ‐ his soul, tell him and his coadjutor that I belong to the Black Hussars of Literature, who neither give nor receive criticism. I'll be cursed but this is the most impudent proposal that was ever made”. Regarding this story Messrs. Blackwood say: “This gives a slightly wrong impression. Scott was still incognito. William Blackwood was within his rights. He was always most loyal to Scott.” There has been some controversy as to the exact style of this letter, and it has been alleged that Lockhart did not print it in the same terms as Sir Walter wrote it. Blackwood came into the limelight as a publisher when he started the Edinburgh Monthly Magazine in 1817, which was to be a sort of Tory counterblast to the Whiggish Edinburgh Review. He appointed as editors James Cleghorn and Thomas Pringle, who later said that they realised very soon that Blackwood was much too overbearing a man to serve in harness, and after a time they retired to edit Constable's Scots Magazine, which came out under the new name of The Edinburgh Magazine and Literary Miscellany. [Messrs. Blackwood report as follows: “No. They were sacked—for incompetence and general dulness. (See the Chaldee Manuscript.) They were in office for six months only.”] Blackwood changed the name of The Edinburgh Magazine to Blackwood's Edinburgh Magazine, and became his own editor, with able henchmen in John Wilson, Christopher North, John Gibson Lockhart, and James Hogg as contributors. It was a swashbuckling magazine, sometimes foul in attack, as when it told John Keats to get “back to the shop, back to plaster, pills, and ointment boxes”. Lockhart had a vigour of invective such as was quite in keeping with the age of Leigh Hunt, an age of hard‐hitting. The history of Blackwood in those days is largely the history of the magazine, though Blackwood was at the same time doing useful publishing work. He lost the Murray connexion, however, owing to the scandalous nature of some of the contributions published in Maga; these but expressed the spirit of the times. John Murray was scared of Blackwood's Scottish independence! Among the book publications of Blackwood at the period we find Schlegel's History of Literature, and his firm, as we know, became publisher for John Galt, George Eliot, D. M. Moir, Lockhart, Aytoun, Christopher North, Pollok, Hogg, De Quincey, Michael Scott, Alison, Bulwer Lytton, Andrew Lang, Charles Lever, Saintsbury, Charles Whibley, John Buchan, Joseph Conrad, Neil Munro—a distinguished gallery. In 1942 the firm presented to the National Library of Scotland all the letters that had been addressed to the firm from its foundation from 1804 to the end of 1900, and these have now been indexed and arranged, and have been on display at the National Library where they have served to indicate the considerable service the firm has given to authorship. The collection is valuable and wide‐ranging.

Details

Library Review, vol. 18 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0024-2535

Article
Publication date: 27 January 2012

Ronald A. Fullerton

Using the German book trade as a case example, the aim of the paper is to show how the evolution of segmentation began with increasingly sophisticated marketing practice…

638

Abstract

Purpose

Using the German book trade as a case example, the aim of the paper is to show how the evolution of segmentation began with increasingly sophisticated marketing practice long before formal thought was developed to explain matters.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper's approach is a careful and critical examination of exclusively primary sources.

Findings

Marketing practice developed increasingly sophisticated segmentation over the 100 years before there was formal marketing thought about it. Marketing thought developed in part because the growth of universities stimulated the development of formal disciplines, and in part because businesspeople wanted to accelerate learning what they should do to grow their businesses.

Originality/value

The paper is based on an in‐depth examination of one of the first businesses to adopt aggressive marketing.

Details

Journal of Historical Research in Marketing, vol. 4 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1755-750X

Keywords

1 – 10 of 491