Do Bookstores Have Brand Equity Abroad?

In Discussion by Edward Nawotka

Are there bookstores from abroad you’d like to see in your own country?

By Edward Nawotka

Books Kinokuniya in New York

Readers who travel often run across a wonderful bookstore and think to themselves, “I wish they would open one of those in my hometown.”┬áThere are, in fact, several examples of bookstores opening on foreign shores, and UK bookstore Foyles is looking for partners abroad.

In the early 90s UK chain Waterstone’s opened branches in the US, but these didn’t last through the turn of the century; and America’s Borders expanded aggressively abroad, but only a handful of stores remain following the company’s bankruptcy and continued disenfranchisement.

Others have managed to make it work: Japanese chain Kinokunia, for example, has several successful foreign outposts, including stores in New York and Dubai.

Do bookstores have enough brand equity to make an impact abroad? Is there a need for international expansion when digital publishing has broken down borders? Are there bookstores from abroad you’d like to see in your own country?

Let us know what you think in the comments.

(Photo by David Creswell)

About the Author

Edward Nawotka

A widely published critic and essayist, Edward Nawotka serves as a speaker, educator and consultant for institutions and businesses involved in the global publishing and content industries. He was also editor-in-chief of Publishing Perspectives since the launch of the publication in 2009 until January 2016.