This year marks the seventh anniversary of the original ‘Super Thursday’. It was in 2008 when the editor of The Bookseller, Philip Jones noticed the trend for so many books published on a particular day. That year, 247 new titles were released and the number has increased every year since- 315 books are to be published today. Christmas sales account for nearly 40% of the annual book sales and Super Thursday has become known as the industry’s main protagonist in promoting traditionally published books as it toils with the ever-increasing popularity of the digital variety. It is a day in which the familiar and trusted independent bookshops can gain some momentum in the national press by promoting their unique benefits and of course, increase exposure and in turn, sales.
Supermarkets first started stocking books about 20 years ago and it is widely regarded that these supermarkets have had a negative impact on the health and well-being of our local high streets, affecting various independent retailers from stationers and sweetshops to butchers and of course, bookshops.
Book sales declined roughly 9% from 2012 to 2013 which is somewhat alarming but it pails into insignificance when hearing that the number of independent bookshops have fallen by a third since 2005. Super Thursday however has been gaining some traction and combined with the slowing eBook sales, 2014 has seen a much smaller decline of just 2 per cent.
Some may say that traditional book sales are declining for a reason and that it’s pointless to try and stem the tide, that the increasing sales of eBooks quash any notion of a hardback revival but there is hope… This year has already witnessed incredible sales in the children’s market: up almost 10 per cent so far. This is an encouraging sign and one which succinctly reminds us that there’s a whole new generation experiencing books for the first time. There’ll be another generation doing the same 20 years after that and so this cycle will continue. If nothing is done now to promote books and protect what is left of the industry, these future children may never have the chance to handle a real book in their hands, to draw inspiration from them and experience the magic that we were fortunate enough to receive at their age. Let us do what we can to protect books today, for it would be a very sad state of affairs if there weren’t any to buy tomorrow.
True British summers are hard to beat in every way – most true Brits say there’s no better place to spend your lazy days than on our awe-inspiring coastline, by the lakes that glisten in the evening sun or in the parks whilst the irregular sound of leather on willow seem to echo. The land we’ve been blessed with has offered infinite inspiration to many, from Shakespeare and Worth to Elgar and Constable and then there’s everyone else in between. There’s certainly more to this green and pleasant land than first meets the eye.
As winter nears and the sun seems a little more reluctant to show itself, we feel the chill that little bit more and look to those home-comforts that make these months that much more bearable. The roaring open fires, the long bracing walks and the warmth of hot tea and crumpets are just some of the ways which we employ to comfort ourselves. Then there’s the clothing and apparel which you’ve been eager to bring out from our ‘winter wardrobes’; the recently purchased overcoat you’re keen to check hasn’t been eaten by moths, the cashmere sweater you’re sure you stored away but now aren’t so sure and the silk thermals that you hope you can get one more season’s use from but fear that you may just need to bite the bullet and purchase a new set when see them again…!
Then we have alpaca. A relatively unknown fibre in the modern-day era but one which is sure to catch on by the year’s end! Alpaca possesses an incredible array of qualities, which to some, is an infinite list but we probably know them to be finite, although it’s hard to believe! Alpaca fibre is actually thermostatic ensuring that the wearer is kept cool when it’s hot and warm when it’s cool so no more packing alpaca clothing away in the summer months as our alpaca knitwear will do just fine! The true luxury, quality and softness of handle of our alpaca range will surprise you as much as it has everyone else – it’s softer than cashmere yet warmer and stronger. We’ve heard our already loyal fan-base say that you need to ‘feel it to believe it’ and when you do, you’ll be converted! Alpaca is the way forward and Plum of London is excited to be at the forefront of this new wave of knitwear innovation. There’s no need for knitwear to be seasonal ever again – Plum will look after your wants and desires from now on!
We’re extremely excited for Best of Britannia to start – it’s been a long time coming! Plum of London will be joined by over 200 other brands offering everything from speed boats, bicycles and furniture to soft furnishings, jewellery and of course high quality men’s, women’s and childrenswear! BoB’s reputation is second to none as it displays the finest product range available anywhere in the world.
The Farmiloe Building in Clerkenwell (which was used in the last two Batman films and Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy among many other notable movies), will again play host to what could literally be called the biggest Pop Up England has ever seen! The event will showcase all the incredible talent and creativity that Britain has to offer which is why there will also be live music, movies, guest speakers, scrumptious food and an amazing choice of drink from the classic gin to the innovative Albion Racing Club!
In association with Short List Magazine, a number of seminars will also be hosted by journalist and writer Josh Sims who contributes to The Financial Times, The Times, Esquire, the BBC, Wallpaper, The Independent as well as many others. Katherine Hamnett and Wayne Hemmingway will also be guest panellists whilst buyers from Harvey Nichols, John Lewis and many other highly regarded retailers will be touring the event. The final notable attendees will also be yourselves, the public, of which you are all invited! Best of Britannia will open up its doors on Friday 2nd October and Saturday 3rd October – we look forward to seeing you there! For more information, visit: www.bestofbritannia.com/
The next few days are set to take off and we very much hope that you’ll be part of it!
See you there!