Flyleaf Books in Cleveland is a startup used bookstore. Management at Flyleaf Books has set out to increase local market share in used bookstores by offering low prices and a broad selection of products. They also offer a range of services such as buyback/trade programs and hard to find book searches.
Flyleaf LLC will be an Ohio limited liability corporation. Mr. James Vinck, an ex-head librarian of Philadelphia City Library, will co-own the company with his wife Aracela.
Vinck intends to start this business as a growth-oriented enterprise to supplement his retirement, keep in touch with people who share his interests, and leave his children a financially viable business. Flyleaf Books is opening its store in Brecksville (a suburban suburb of Cleveland), one of the most populated areas. This area is known for its high quality establishments and wealthy residents. The former furniture store was 8,000 sq. ft., which allowed the company to stock large quantities of inventory.
Flyleaf Books has a wide selection of music, magazines, and books. This includes just about every conceivable category including fiction, non-fiction, business, science, children’s, hobbies, collecting, and other types of books. Our music selection will concentrate on CD’s as these are the most popular and take up the least amount of floor space. To help reduce inventory acquisition costs, and make our store more attractive to customers, we will offer a buy and trade service. In addition, we offer a search and order service for customer seeking to find hard to get items. Flyleaf Books has a relaxed reading room that we encourage with the placement of couches, chairs, etc.
Our market is facing a decline in growth over the past two years. This can be attributed to the overall economy being weak. For the last year, book store sales only rose 3.6%, while overall U.S. sales grew by 4.3%. However, management believes this may be a boon for the used-bookstore industry. Customers will cut down on their purchases, making used bookstores more attractive to those who still want books. Management feels that now is the right time to start in this industry and grow market share.
The entire bookstore industry is experiencing a consolidation. The market was dominated in the past by small and local bookstores as well as regional chains. The emergence of Barnes & Noble’s “/superstore has made it possible for the largest market players to capture significant market share. It also drove many independent booksellers out.
Independent booksellers have the ability to still be viable in the used book market. The ‘#8220/superstore’ concept is more difficult to replicate than in a market with low profit margins. This segment tends not to attract big businesses. The local independent booksellers in the used market tend to be more successful than the national chains, as long as they are able to acquire sufficient space to hold an attractive inventory and compete against the national chains.
$178,000 is the cost of our start-up expenses. These are one-time fees that come with opening the store. These costs are financed by both private investors and SBA loans. Note that we expect to be operating at loss for the first few weeks before advertising kicks in and brings in customers. Flyleaf Books is expected to receive periodic cash infusions to cover operating expenses for the first two year as it works toward sustainability. Lending institutions and private investors have already provided financing. We don’t anticipate any cash flow issues in the next three years.
These are the goals for the next three years for Flyleaf Books:
- Achieve profitability by July Year 2.
- Aim to make $200,000 in sales per year.
- Profit-oriented owners receive a competitive salary.
1.2 Keys to Success
Flyleaf Books has to keep these things in mind if they are to survive and thrive.
- We need to be visible through billboards, advertising and media.
Flyleaf Book’s mission in Cleveland, OH is to provide quality literature at affordable prices. It also aims to create a relaxing environment for clients, which encourages browsing and relaxation. Flyleaf’s main selling point to its customers is our wide selection of books, magazines and used CD’s. Our purchasing/buyback option lowers book acquisition costs and allows customers to get rid of unwanted books/CD’s for cash.