Canadian small independent bookstores have played an important role in local communities for many years but are now about to become extinct. While they have had a significant cultural and social impact, many independent bookstores closed doors in cities such as Halifax, Vancouver, Toronto, and elsewhere. Why the Future of Independent Bookstores Is Uncertain Competition from big-box book retailers is one of the main reasons why the prospects of small bookstores are unclear. In fact, chains account for about 70 percent of sales. E-commerce is also on the rise, and many prefer to order books from the comfort of their home. EBooks have become increasingly popular, and some predict that eBooks are soon to replace hardcover copies. In fact, some go as far as to predict that our main shopping streets will turn into e-commerce pickup points in the near future. What Indie Retailers Share According to a survey by BookNet Canada, in 2018, 65 percent of indie retailers have experienced increases in revenue from new releases. Non-book items account for a small percentage of sales or just 16 percent. The top marketing techniques that retailers use include advertising books at off-site and on-site events, stickering and shelving books, and selling in-store. Bookstores Closing Doors When the big-box book retailers entered the Canadian market, some 350 independent retailers closed doors or downsized. Toronto lost many indie bookstores over the last years, among which Pages, Mirvish Village, Ten Editions Books, and others. Some of these independent retailers have been iconic and ranked among the best indie stores in Toronto. Many small retailers also closed in Halifax, including Book Room, which opened doors in 1839 and was one of the oldest bookstores in Canada. Some of the best-known indie bookstores also closed in Vancouver, prominent examples being Duthie Books and Sophia Books.
There are plenty of cool coffee shops all over British Columbia, offering a selection of hot beverages, tasty snacks and sweets, and the opportunity to meet the locals. Beachcomber Coffee Found on Gower Point Road in Gibsons, Beachcomber Coffee features a wood-lined interior and unique coffee blends for every taste. The shop has been awarded several awards, among which 91 Point Coffee, 2016 Small Business BC Awards, and 2015 and 2016 Golden Bean North America. Moving Coffee Roastery This small venue is located on E 3rd Avenue in Vancouver and offers some of the best coffee in British Columbia. The selection of beans includes Gesha Village 2019, decaffeinated coffee, and Ethiopia Sidamo Gora Kone. The shop also organizes unique workshops with a focus on coffee tasting and brewing, barista training, green coffee analysis, and cupping subscriptions. Professional consultancy services are also offered and target restaurants, cafes, shops, co-working spaces, and offices. Businesses that seek to increase revenues benefit from consultancy services. Base Camp A busy venue on Marine Avenue in Powell River, Base Camp features an artistic interior, superb customer service, and a selection of drinks, lunch, dinner, and breakfast options, and all-day offerings. The shop is decorated with artsy tiling, locally sourced wood, and custom metal work for a modern and unique feel. Customers can try tasty vegetarian options such as maple granola parfait with yogurt and seasonal fruit or breakfast sandwich with fresh tomato, cream cheese, sundried tomato, and roasted red pepper. The drinks menu features hot beverages such as chai latte and mocha, macchiato, cappuccino, and Americano. The best part is that the shop roasts its own selection of beans. There is also a selection of all-day classics, including goodies, cookies, wraps, and sandwiches. Visitors who are up for something sweet will enjoy their granola bar and