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Crucial time for bookshops

PUBLISHED: 16:53 04 December 2008 | UPDATED: 15:40 07 September 2010

INDEPENDENT bookshops in Hampstead and Highgate are on tenterhooks waiting for the all-important Christmas rush to rid them of their credit crunch worries. December is traditionally a crucial time for the small shops and it is when they make most of their

INDEPENDENT bookshops in Hampstead and Highgate are on tenterhooks waiting for the all-important Christmas rush to rid them of their credit crunch worries.

December is traditionally a crucial time for the small shops and it is when they make most of their money.

But the crunch has caused a massive drop in business while the nation worries about spending its cash.

Stephen Adams, owner of Kilburn Bookshop, said: "We are obviously finding it quite difficult and trading is down at the moment.

"It is very difficult to say what will happen in the next three weeks but these are crucial for us.

"We really do rely on the Christmas period to keep us afloat so we are concerned at the moment.

"Internet shopping has hit all independent bookshops for the last two or three years. It is getting worse and even bigger discounts from Amazon or the big chain stores are never good news for us.

"We always support people shopping locally and we hope people take that on board at the moment."

Smaller bookshops hope they offer something different to larger stores and the internet and many say they try to have a wider stock range than just the bestsellers.

But they are still suffering during the economic crisis and need your support at this time of year to keep going.

Brett Croft, manager of Daunt Books which has stores in Hampstead and Belsize Park, said: "Things are a bit flat at the moment because of the credit crunch. It is too early to say as far as Christmas goes though - we will just have to wait and see what happens in the next three weeks.

"The run-up to Christmas is the most important time for us and is a massive proportion of our year. I would definitely encourage people to shop locally this Christmas and support independent shops."

The Ham&High's Keep It Local campaign encourages readers to shop on their local high street this Christmas and save those independent shops without which the high streets' character would be lost forever.


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