City bookstores delivering to your doorstep
If it is OTT platforms for some, and online gaming for others, there is another group for whom there is nothing quite as entertaining, relaxing and enjoyable as reading a book. The lockdown caught many unawares, and some exhausted their line-up of unread books. Popular bookstores in the city are using delivery services to reach customers.
Some bookstores opened their shutters from April 25, while others chose to open by May 1. But with the lockdown still in place, the number of walk-in customers has reduced to a trickle compared to the bustling numbers in the pre-COVID-19 world. The need for a good read to remain sane during the lockdown has had many readers reaching out to their favourite bookstores with lists of titles. In turn, the stores have ensured that the books reach their eager readers.
Blossoms, which opened this month, has been taking orders on the phone. Owner Mayi Gowda said he has been shipping out between 15 and 20 orders every day since. What is aiding this demand is that e-commerce sites, which were stiff competition to brick and mortar bookstores, are only selling essentials now, he said. “Earlier, we used to use Dunzo for urgent orders. Now, the number of walk-in customers are very few. Most orders are for deliveries,” he said.
Bookworm’s Krishna Gowda said a whopping 90% of their business now was through deliveries – a far cry from the 5% to 10% before. “Since we opened on April 25, it has been very encouraging. Most sales are through Dunzo. Customers WhatsApp us their orders, we see what we have available or arrange for them from distributors, and send it through Dunzo. Charges depend on the number of books and the area,” he explained. At the store, they have kept sanitisers outside, and have been sanitising the common areas, he said.
Gangarams Book Bureau, Church Street, – which opened on May 3, is also seeing an increase in delivery requests. Somanna H, sales executive here, said they are sending at least five orders a day for delivery. “Sometimes, if we get a lot of orders from the same area, we deliver the books ourselves,” he said, adding that unlike walk-in customers who prefer to browse and buy, those requesting for deliveries are clear about the books they want.
Guruprasad D.N, owner of Aakruti Books, that opened last week, said there has been a demand for delivery from customers who are not in Bengaluru. “Those who would travel to Bengaluru on work and pick up books are unable to do so now. So we have been delivering their orders through India Post, which is extremely affordable. We have been getting orders from Mangaluru, Mysuru, Uttara Kannada and Raichur,” he said.