Guido de Smet (Standard Library) and Emmanuel Rotsart (Club)
Playing in a book market that relies heavily on best-selling books Standard library And The club Respond more quickly to trends. The store concept is evolving and intelligent use of customer data should lead to increased sales.
“Standaard Boekhandel in Flanders and Club in Wallonia are very famous brands with a rich history, but they are also a bit of a sleeping giant and we are now waking up again,” says Guido De Smet (Director of Retail and B2B at Standaard Boekhandel). And Emmanuel Rotsart (General Manager of the Club).
How is the book market evolving in the digital age? “In a year like 2022 without bestsellers, you see a market that’s a little bit down, both online and offline. We need bestsellers to generate traffic to your bookstore or webstore: Lucinda Reilly, Elijah Leonard Pfeiffer…once people get in To the physical store or online, they buy more than one product. 30% of the people who bought Lucinda Riley bought another product. These are not customers that we get every week, but when they buy a book, they come to us, and when they are there, they also take another book with them .
So De Smet and Rutsaert want to do more with the knowledge that Standard Boekhandel and Club have about their customers: “Based on five to six purchases, you can tell what type of reader you have in front of you. Next, we have to select from a database of millions of books the books That you’ll love. This is how you drive growth. Think digital wine consultants Colruyt Recently introduced: We can do the same with books.
Young adult orientation
Standard Boekhandel is now accelerating investment in its stores to increase experience and respond to new trends. Typical is the #YA-Underground section Which recently opened in Leuven. “Young adult” literature is breathing new life into the book market, thanks to the popular hashtag #BookTok on TikTok.
“We’ve seen this trend coming for a year or two. We started responding to this target group and increased the number of walk-up counters in our stores. In collaboration with De Krook bookshop in Ghent, we saw thousands of readers – mostly women – arriving for our YA Day in “The most beautiful spring day in April. Then we decided: ‘We have to do more about this.'” The project was completed in six weeks. “We will test it now, look at it from all sides, and then maybe take the next step in different places.”
At Club, the company carries out the same practice, although the French-speaking market is different: “Lucinda Reilly sells between 30 and 40 thousand books in Flanders, and only a few thousand in Wallonia. We see the youth trend in both parts of the country.
Together with business people
The majority of Standaard Boekhandel stores are operated by independent entrepreneurs. The retailer takes this into account: “We had them participate in workshops on our new store concept, along with two agencies. There was no one from management there, so they could give their backpack freely with feedback. There is a lot of it in the concepts that “We will deliver it. It is not ‘It was decided in Sint-Niklaas that…’ No, we decided together.”
Guido De Smet and Manu Rutsaert will tell you more about how the Standard Boekhandel and Club store concept has developed and what innovative projects are still in progress at the RetailDetail Marketing Day, which will be held on September 21 in Antwerp. Speakers from Lunch Garden, Kruidvat, Impermo, Microsoft, Deloitte and Jacob’s Concept Store will also share their marketing insights. Order your timely ticket via the link below.
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