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Bad corporate newsletters

December 22, 2015

I got this email from Exclusive Books… It’s really atrocious and embarrasing.

2015 has been a tumultuous year in the book trade, both locally and abroad. The most compelling feature of the change that has taken place globally is the decline of Kindle sales and, consequently, the diminution of eBook purchases. Nothing could be more illustrative of this than the announcement by Waterstone in the United Kingdom that they have now delisted the Kindle from their product range. The reversion to books that we see in both the U.K. and the United States has an echo in this country. Children’s book sales are stronger than they have been for some time and we have recognised this by improving our children’s departments in all stores as we refurbish and improve our retail spaces. We have also seen a return to paperback fiction and a general improvement in demand across many categories of our inventory.

However, the elephant in the room for us remains price. The precipitous decline in the Rand has had an adverse impact on book prices and we are in constant discussion with publishers about ways in which price increases can be contained. We are pleased to say that most publishers or representative offices have made a concerted effort to contain prices and, barring their annual increase for the printing and distribution costs, they have all given us the assurance that they will hold prices in 2016: barring, of course, some further calamitous collapse in the Rand exchange rate.

Notwithstanding the impact of prices on the consumer’s ever-stretched wallet, our shops are busier than at any time since we acquired the business from the Times Media Group and We are hopeful that our Christmas books and selection will find a response among our valued customers.

As the year draws to an end we reflect on what has been an incredibly exciting year for Exclusive Books. We opened a new bookstore in Dainfern and revamped our Woodlands, Greenstone and Clearwater stores. In addition, the Cape Town Waterfront store has been partially refurbished but there is more to come next year. Furthermore, Hyde Park has been totally rebuilt and it is surely one of the most beautiful in the world. As one of our flagships, it required something special and what better to compliment it than a restaurant which boasts a team of 20 chefs including Australian master chef Russell Armstrong.

We would like to wish everyone a 2016 free of stress and worry and a peaceful and happy festive season.

Of course we have to add mention of our annual catalogue, grab one in store or look at it online.

There are some competitions wrapping up, and you simply have to do what it takes to be in on the prize offered at Pafuri in Cover to Cover.

Best wishes,

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