In a world dominated by heavy discounts or even free, one company at least seems to be thriving on selling at full price.
Sales at the London book shop Foyles jumped 19% this Christmas, despite only one of the books in their top 10 being discounted.
When you think how their competitors are suffering, it is a remarkable achievement. Cut price books in supermarkets and the unlimited virtual shelf space of Amazon have spelt trouble in the book world. Borders is closing down altogether in the UK and Waterstones have been having a bumpy ride.
Foyles secret ? To become the destination of choice for a diverse set of niche groups. You want Twilight in Russian ? You want Polish books, specialist medical text books, sheet music or the script of every show running in the West End ? Folyles has all this.
I mention them because Foyles embodies the soundest business advice around at the moment, which is to focus on a niche market. Bloggers are told this all the time. ( Goths in hot weather anyone ?)
By specialising quite tightly you benefit 3 ways,
- By keeping marketing costs low. You don’t need to tell everyone you exist, just your niche market audience.
- Increased income, as you are not in the discount game.
- Strengthening customer loyalty. A group of people with specialist needs want to stick with you once they have found you.
Foyles knows that the film and theatre people that surround them in London’s Soho will think of them first for specialist books on cinematography or play scripts.
But what about you, have you found your niche ?