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Bouncing back for Melville book store

When book stores such as Book Circle Capital in Melville had to shut their doors, not being able to sell books during lockdown, it was a nerve-wracking experience for owner, Sewela Langeni.

When book stores such as Book Circle Capital in Melville had to shut their doors, not being able to sell books during lockdown, it was a nerve-wracking experience for owner, Sewela Langeni.

Just like any business that had to suspend trade, Book Circle Capital started experiencing cash-flow challenges and additional revenue issues when their suppliers closed shop, prohibiting them from fulfilling some of their orders.

Langeni is optimistic for the future saying, “Bouncing back is possible but it is going to require a lot more effort to sell books over-and-above the traditional ways.”

Level 4 came with the ability for Langeni to test out some of these new methods to drive sales. Book Circle Capital used the pandemic as a chance to implement new technologies and services into their business.

These include online payments, the selling of vouchers which can be redeemed post-lockdown and increased communication with loyal and new clients to ensure they keep supporting them.

She expressed, “We have always seen ourselves as a physical space, all about experience where people meet to share ideas, but Covid-19 has changed this and has forced us to rethink this model.”

Since then, Langeni has seen a small increase in sales but is confident persistence and constant engagement with the public will be beneficial.

The current popular books at Book Circle Capital are children books, with Langeni saying, “We have a big collection of local children’s books to keep kids entertained and educated during this time with stories relevant to their country and continent.”

For Langeni, the book selling and loving industry is feeling very anxious about what the future holds. Business will have to adapt as they have already seen a shift towards online gatherings around books, with people sharing what they are reading at the moment.

She also pleaded with the community to not only support book stores but all small businesses in their area. Langani said, “Support your local small business in whatever way you can and stay positive, this phase will pass.”

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