Here are the related stories as reported by The Bookseller.com
No one is crying wolf at the moment, but in a time of recession, the first serious bites are normally seen in the property and building trades, (that has long happened and passed) often followed by the IT and Technology sectors, before finally making their impact in the wholesale and retail sectors. In my own neck of the woods, Ireland, Harvey-Norman the Australian retailer has openly regretted its expansion into the north of Ireland and reported profits in the Republic of Ireland as 'catastrophic', UK retailer ASDA is eyeing up Dunnes Stores for a take-over. In the entertainment industry I work in, I am witnessing day to day, accounts going on hold, credit terms being suspended, as companies desperately try to stave off financial turmoil for another few months. What I have found interesting about the current economic situation is that it seems to be particularly affecting the so-called 'traditional companies'. The high street names which we have taken for granted for many years who we assumed would always be there, through thick 'n' thin, no matter what the outlook.
With regard to Bertrams and their book distribution, most independent book retailers seem hopeful that business will remain as normal and from the comments by some of them in thebookseller.com following the news reports, most clearly reflect a strong support and long term respect for Bertrams and their distribution service.
It is always hard to know how difficult things are until it bites down to the lowest common economic denominator. Booksellers in both Ireland and the UK are all experiencing a small but notable downturn in profits, but it is at this level where the true measure of things is often not felt until long after the damage of the storm.
Just like every retailer has promoted their latest discounted deals, anyone who has given up their email address to any POD publishing service will have been bombarded with emails about special seasonal discounts, amid the odd email about rising costs of shipping etc and the fact that your publisher has had to 'revise' the retail price of your recently published tome.
We do not know how long this storm will last, but we have seen the price of a barrel of oil plummet; I sometimes wonder what the price of paper is now!
If we read those promo emails, then at the very least, we must rejoice, while remaining evermore sober this festive tide...