On Value and Dropping the 20%
You probably do not need us to tell you that the bookselling has fallen on difficult times of late. In addition to well-established chain stores that have been forced to close their doors over the last decade, we’ve witnessed the closure of locally owned and operated stores such as the excellent Crux Books in Toronto in late 2017, and more recently, of our friends at Ontario Christian Books, which closed their doors last term. Many of our fellow-booksellers adopted a permanent discount strategy, in an effort to compete against Amazon. We too adopted a similar strategy, offering a permanent 20% discount on all of our regular priced books. Unfortunately, this is not a sustainable model. There are reasons why local, brick-and-mortar stores cannot consistently offer the same prices as Amazon, not the least of which is that Amazon is able to take a loss to their bottom line in the books category – it is merely a way to get customers “in the door” and it is subsidized by areas that are lucrative for them: selling shopping habits per demographic to marketing companies. Simply put, they don’t need books; they use them.
We may not always be able to offer a lower price than Amazon, and in the area of sheer convenience, brick-and-mortar stores will likely never be able to truly compete. However, we believe there are many ways in which the Regent College Bookstore offers an even greater value:
Our carefully curated selection, located in a Christian community, managed by knowledgeable staff who love books. A local bookstore is a place to come and browse, to find something for which you were not already looking, a place for unexpected ideas to break in from the outside. It’s also a place to talk about books! Our modern world can be isolating and impersonal. Come, let us get to know you, tell us what you’re reading, and what we should be reading.
The money you spend contributes to funding ministry, education, and the flourishing of the body of Christ. Regent Bookstore is run solely by Regent College. We’re a not-for-profit, and our profit goes towards the ongoing work of the College and its students. Our staff are Regent-trained, and in many cases, are current Regent students.
Regent Bookstore Events. The Regent Bookstore hosts public lectures, book launches, and meet and greet book-signings featuring some of the most stimulating and influential Christian authors of our time. We have big plans to continue expanding the scope of our in-store events. Stay tuned for our Budding Theologians Reading Hour, a story time for children featuring meaningful biblical and theological themes.
Our Used Books Selection, Including Rare and Antiquarian Titles. Many of you have already experienced the quality of our used books section. By virtue of the extended network of Regent College, we often receive books that you would be hard-pressed to find elsewhere. In addition to an ever-changing assortment of used books that we have in-store, we manage an online storefront featuring our rarer pieces. Visit our ABE Store to see for yourself!
All this is to say that beginning Dec 1st 2019 we will no longer offer a standing 20% discount on regular-priced books. This means you have from now until November 30 to receive 20% off of that book you’ve been holding off on buying. We do this in an effort to love and serve you for years to come. It will also allow us to offer more meaningful sales in the future (like our special Christmas Sale on Dec 6 & 7!)
We love bookstores, and know that you do too. Here’s to ensuring that the Regent Bookstore will be around for years to come.