‘Use us or lose us’ warning on internet from Saltaire Bookshop owner

David Ford, owner of Saltaire Bookshop, who issued a plea for customers on Facebook

David Ford, owner of Saltaire Bookshop, who issued a plea for customers on Facebook

First published in News Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Photograph of the Author by , T&A Reporter

A bookshop owner in Saltaire has urged people to support local businesses after taking to Facebook to reveal his “despair” at plummeting sales.

David Ford issued an urgent plea for customers on the social media website after his shop took only £7.50 in a day.

And the 52-year-old’s strategy worked because the day after his plea, Saltaire Bookshop took £300 – which Mr Ford says he usually makes in about two weeks.

Speaking about posting about his lack of profits on Facebook, Mr Ford said: “It was despair. The shop had probably just had its worst week on record.

“I wrote on Facebook having a moan, but also making a point that if people don’t use their local shops they will not survive.” Since the day he made £300, Mr Ford said business has been better.

“It was one of the best Saturdays I’ve ever had,” he said. “It was an absolutely fantastic day – almost unprecedented.

“It hasn’t been heaving this week but it has certainly been better than last week.”

Mr Ford said he usually makes about £14 a day at the store, which stocks about 8,000 mainly second-hand books. On his slow sales day he sold just a French dictionary and a children’s book about ponies, earning him only £7.50.

“I think people think that shopkeepers are wealthy people,” said Mr Ford, who has run the shop at Myrtle Place for more than six years.

“I was seriously thinking about closing down, and not from choice because I love what I do, but there’s only so much I can do.”

Mr Ford, who reckons he earns an annual wage of £10,000 from the shop, said he was also considering taking on a second job, something he did when he first opened the business.

He blamed supermarkets and the internet for the demise of local shops, adding: “There is no magic solution for local shops. The only option is to use them.

“If you want local shops to stay open, use them. If you want a bookshop in town that will supply you with a book occasionally, you have to go and buy one occasionally.

“If everyone in Saltaire spent £5 a year in here then the shop would be fine.”

Mr Ford, who lives above the shop with his wife Vanessa, is also the chairman of the Saltaire Traders’ Association, and a founder of a ‘Totally Locally’ committee.

He said: “Independent shops are part of a community, which will be lost if they are forced to close as people choose to buy online or in supermarkets.”

Comments (5)

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7:30pm Wed 15 Jan 14

collos25 says...

Has he thought that people do not want to enter his shop and spend money you cannot make them.His answer is the internet and good marketing .
Has he thought that people do not want to enter his shop and spend money you cannot make them.His answer is the internet and good marketing . collos25
  • Score: -10

11:28pm Wed 15 Jan 14

Rambo says...

collos25 wrote:
Has he thought that people do not want to enter his shop and spend money you cannot make them.His answer is the internet and good marketing .
Or not paying your taxes like Amazon?
[quote][p][bold]collos25[/bold] wrote: Has he thought that people do not want to enter his shop and spend money you cannot make them.His answer is the internet and good marketing .[/p][/quote]Or not paying your taxes like Amazon? Rambo
  • Score: 8

12:59am Thu 16 Jan 14

colinblake1 says...

The shop is excellent and David is very supportive of community initiatives. It would be a terrible shame if it were to close.
The shop is excellent and David is very supportive of community initiatives. It would be a terrible shame if it were to close. colinblake1
  • Score: 12

8:37pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Tonybaloni says...

Kindle will kill book shops. I got one bought for me by my son at Christmas.
I can get books for less than £1 that would cost £15 in paper form.
The Kindle also allows you to read in the dark.
I can also borrow books for free from Amazon if I pay for Amazon prime.
He needs to diversify or go out of business.
Kindle will kill book shops. I got one bought for me by my son at Christmas. I can get books for less than £1 that would cost £15 in paper form. The Kindle also allows you to read in the dark. I can also borrow books for free from Amazon if I pay for Amazon prime. He needs to diversify or go out of business. Tonybaloni
  • Score: -4

9:06pm Thu 16 Jan 14

Shipleyvegas says...

Tonybaloni wrote:
Kindle will kill book shops. I got one bought for me by my son at Christmas.
I can get books for less than £1 that would cost £15 in paper form.
The Kindle also allows you to read in the dark.
I can also borrow books for free from Amazon if I pay for Amazon prime.
He needs to diversify or go out of business.
Don't think kindle will kill books - don't get me wrong it's handy, but you will never beat the feel of a real book!
[quote][p][bold]Tonybaloni[/bold] wrote: Kindle will kill book shops. I got one bought for me by my son at Christmas. I can get books for less than £1 that would cost £15 in paper form. The Kindle also allows you to read in the dark. I can also borrow books for free from Amazon if I pay for Amazon prime. He needs to diversify or go out of business.[/p][/quote]Don't think kindle will kill books - don't get me wrong it's handy, but you will never beat the feel of a real book! Shipleyvegas
  • Score: 6

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