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Published: 30 Jun 2016

New Bookstore Formats: Innovative & Inspiring

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Hangzhou-Zhongshuge

Bricks-and-mortar bookshops are refinding favour with consumers, forging intriguing new formats. Sales in physical bookstores in the US alone grew by 2.5% last year – the first increase since 2007 (US Census Bureau, 2016). We list the latest strategies boosting in-store engagement, from on-demand commerce and enforced digital detoxing, to ultra-immersive visual merchandising.

  • Book Printing On Demand: Parisian bookstore La Librairie des Puf houses virtually no stock, instead enabling customers to print titles on request thanks to its on-site Espresso Book Machine, developed by NY-based digital printing experts On Demand Books. Consumers can browse an online catalogue of approximately three million titles on in-store tablets, select a book they want to purchase and even add inscriptions. The printing process takes just five minutes.
    Italian bookstore chain Mondadori is similarly offering printing on demand via its e-commerce site and in selected stores across Italy. Its offer includes over seven million rare and vintage titles unavailable for purchase in regular bookstores. See also The Streamlined Sell and Rapid Retail.
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La Librairie des Puf
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La Librairie des Puf
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La Librairie des Puf
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Mondadori
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Mondadori, Book On Demand
  • Quiet Immersion – Retreat into Relaxation: Shanghai-based architecture studio XL-Muse has designed the Zhongshuge-Hangzhou bookshop in the city of Hangzhou, Eastern China. The space is divided into three parts. The first space is all white, and filled with vertical tree-like display columns, which are reflected in the mirror-lined walls and ceilings, generating a sense of endless repetition and vastly extended height.
    Trading heavily on the power of relaxation, a wall opening leads customers to a considerably darker, second space. This quiet zone is referred to as the 'reading corridor' – a space where visitors can browse books on floor-to-ceiling shelving and relax in a seating area. From there, visitors can proceed to a still more intimate, oval-shaped 'reading theatre' area. Softly illuminated dark wooden bookshelves encircle the room, the centre of which features beige cushioned seating positioned next to reading lamps. The room also features a mirrored ceiling, creating a similar sense of boundlessness.
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Zhongshuge-Hangzhou
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Zhongshuge-Hangzhou
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Zhongshuge-Hangzhou
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Zhongshuge-Hangzhou
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Zhongshuge-Hangzhou
  • Digital Detox: Similarly trading on the impressive notion of boundlessness, which encourages a free and relaxing environment, the cavernous interior of Libreria in London features undulating wooden shelves reflected infinitely in a mirrored ceiling. The concept is inspired by Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges' tale called The Library of Babel – a short story that describes a universe within an infinite library. The vast interior also deploys gentle yellow lighting and a strict no-phone policy to encourage shoppers to explore without distraction. Spanish architect SelgasCano designed the space.

See also Amazon Books: E-Tailer Opens Physical Store to read about the third Amazon store being opened this autumn in Oregon, following the success of two stores in Seattle and San Diego.

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Libreria
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Libreria
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