Town centre bookstore set to close to focus business online

Besleys Books, in Beccles. PHOTO: Google Maps

Besleys Books, in Beccles. PHOTO: Google Maps - Credit: Archant

An iconic town centre bookstore is set to close its doors next week after 36 years.

Besleys Books, in Beccles, will close their store to focus on online sales.

The bookstore has been a staple of Blyburgate since 1984.

Stephen Besley said: "We have been here since 1984 and over all of those years the business has changed, especially with the internet.

"More and more, people are turning to internet shopping.

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"It is the usual story now, where we unfortunately have to go to an internet business.

"It is a challenge to keep up with the likes of Amazon and online bookstores, and we have to find a niche for our store."

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Mr Besley paid tribute to his long-standing customers following the announcement.

He said: "Since we told people of the closure, our customers have been saying they're sorry and sad to see us going, but that is unfortunately what we have had to do.

"We have seen a lot of familiar faces coming in, and they're able to leave with some great books at half price.

"We will continue going to fairs and will be expanding our online store."

The bookstore specialises in antiquarian and second-hand books, and showcases their offerings around the country at a range of book fairs.

Later this month, they will be visiting the Edinburgh Premier Fair, while dates in Norwich, London, Bristol and York are also planned throughout 2020.

In a statement online, Mr Besley said: "With much regret, Besleys Books are closing our bookshop in Beccles.

"We will, of course, continue to trade online, by catalogue and at fairs."

A closing down sale began this week, with the majority of stock reduced by 50pc.

The shop building, at 4 Blyburgate, is also now for sale.

The announcement comes as another town centre store faces closure, with Beales expected to shut their doors. The retailer slid into administration in January, with their 11 department stores in the UK set to close after no buyer was found, putting hundreds of jobs at risk.

Closing down sales are taking place, with the store expected to continue trading until mid-April.

Administrators at KPMG said they are continuing discussions with "a number of interest parties" over a sale.

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