Books industry advocate Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand celebrates 100 years today.
In a time when things have been extremely challenging for any business, the books industry has seen positive spin-offs. The demand for books has increased and there has been a growth in bookshops around the country, with new stores in Wellington, Timaru, and Wanaka.
‘We are thrilled to be celebrating our centenary and are so very proud of all our members and our achievements,’ says Chief Executive Dan Slevin. ‘The centenary has been a time for reflecting on the past as well as looking to the future. Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand is focused on the changing world of books and is committed to the continued success of bookselling in New Zealand.’
Over the last 100 years, Booksellers have seen many changes and the association has adapted over the years. The original version of the association 100 years ago was incredibly conservative and restrictive. It was all about keeping people out of the business to preserve sales for the existing booksellers rather than inviting people into the industry.
Today Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand see themselves as having a much bigger remit in terms of the sector as a whole. ‘We are constantly evolving, trying to find ways to support our members. As so many of our members are small and under-resourced, we are working to build new products or services that will attract customers to them or support their business in some way.’
‘We have seen increasingly that even our small independents are doing a lot more of their business online so one of our big focuses for this year has been to find ways to support their digital efforts.’
‘We are committed to a vision for the next 100 years and are committed to supporting members and growing book sales across all channels. We want everyone to sell more books and we advocate for members in every way possible. We have been enhancing collaboration throughout the sector, including working closely with the other international bookseller associations. So there has been lots of advice and help between us all.’
Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand are thinking ambitiously and imaginatively about what the job of a trade association such as theirs will look like in the 21st century and how they can continue to evolve and stay relevant. They are continuing to focus on the need to grow the market and their membership.
‘100 years marks an important milestone for us in the industry. We are so very proud to look back on our accomplishments and the people we have helped over the years. We are proud to be part of the books industry and would like to thank everyone who has supported us in reaching 100 years of success.’
About Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand:
Founded in 1921, Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand is the membership association for bookshops in New Zealand. A national not-for-profit trade organisation, Booksellers Aotearoa New Zealand work to help independently owned and chain book stores to grow and succeed. They provide education, information, business products, and services; create relevant programs; and engage in public policy and industry advocacy.