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Death of a Bookworm

Death of a Bookworm
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First Published: Fri, May 16 2008. 02 56 PM IST
Updated: Fri, May 16 2008. 02 56 PM IST
Will stand-alone stores survive organized retail chains? It’s a question that’s dividing experts.
While some believe standalone stores have inherent strengths that will help them survive, others say they won’t, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing .Take for example Bookworm. The 31-year-old bookstore in Delhi’s Connaught Circus area this week finally called it quits. Owner Anil Arora says sales had been falling continously for sometime and accelerated after the advent of big retail stores.
That has left people like Thomas Abraham unhappy. He says, ’’small shops like this offer more offbeat books that the big bookstores won’t sell. There has be an equation where they both [organized and unorganized retailers] can co-exist”. A study by Icrier recently showed the rate of closure of unorganized retail due to competition from organized retail at 1.7%. But interestingly, the findings also suggest that a great number of unorganized retailers have generally been able to adjust to the emergence of organized retail and malls.
In the end there is an air of inevitability about organized retail. But more choice can never be a bad thing. Maybe the death of a Bookworm, will be more an exception than the rule.
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First Published: Fri, May 16 2008. 02 56 PM IST