‘It was very challenging to keep the bookshop open during lockdown’

By Teo Coroiu 

At one point during the first lockdown, Sue Finn, the owner of the Wivenhoe Bookshop had to work alone behind locked doors doing free local delivery by bicycle, mail order.

During the third national lockdown, they joined Bookshop.org which was set up in the USA, and last year in this country, to challenge Amazon’s market dominance in book sales.

Because they had to close their business for almost five months due to the second and third national lockdown, Sue managed to keep her customers satisfied by joining Bookshop.org.

In the UK the website has 420 of Britain`s independent booksellers registered and selling, representing half of the independent booksellers including Wivenhoe Bookshop.

Before the first lockdown, the bookshop used to have many customers, especially because it`s “an attractive waterside village and a popular visitor location”.

Normally, between April and October each year, they get a lot of visitors to the village which boosts their trade, as well.

Sue Finn, the current owner said: “We reopened on 12 April in accordance with the government guidelines and for the first three weeks we had tremendous trades, lots and lots of people coming in.”

However, after the first three weeks since they reopened the bookstore the number of customers started to decrease due to the new Indian variant.

“I noticed that people started coming in talking about it, how anxious they were about it and our trades slowdown”, says Sue.