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2008 03 31
Ballenford Books Set To Close

Susan Delean, the owner of Ballenford Books, has sent this message to the store's legion of fans and supporters:

I want to begin by thanking many of you for your years of dedication and support of Ballenford Books, and - because of that support - this is a difficult letter to write.

Over the past few years, it has become ever more clear that Ballenford Books, is no longer a viable business. The cumulative effect of more schools turning to Master’s programs and away from textbook based teaching; with local University libraries sourcing books through mega-distributors in North America while coping with shrinking budgets; with the onslaught of the ‘big-box’ retailers; online shopping options; the new norm of discount pricing; and - most recently - the parity of the Canadian dollar with the US dollar - that the Canadian publishers were too slow to react to - has forced the store into a corner.

We have worked very hard over the years to look for new and innovative ways to distinguish ourselves and to capture new markets and to maintain relevance within our niche; but these efforts alone have not been enough to keep the business healthy.

Most of you have been wondering if you can help. The answer is YES! BUY BOOKS AND IN VOLUME! We are liquidating and trying to do so as quickly as possible. The current inventory is an impossible weight, and it alone stops any chance of a future.

I cannot express how devastating this is for me personally and for my family. I would love to continue, it is my love and passion, but find my personal liabilities overwhelming and potentially irretrievable.

I have thought long and hard about potential partnerships and internal changes that might help long term, but ultimately have yet to find or resolve a realistic and sustainable option. I AM ALL EARS, if anyone has a worthwhile suggestion - now is the time to speak up. Toronto needs an architectural bookstore!

Take some time over the next week or so to visit the bookstore and make a purchase.
[email this story] Posted by R Ouellette on 03/31 at 11:52 AM

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