Thursday, December 8 2022

A North Surrey bookstore fired shots in a conversation about consumer choices, the challenges of small businesses and the threat of monopolies.

The Black Bond Books at Central City Shopping Center is the first such retailer in Canada to participate in the American Booksellers Association’s #BOXEDOUT campaign, which targets Amazon.

The campaign includes slogans such as “Don’t let independent bookstores become a work of fiction” printed on boxes stacked in storefront doors and windows.

It is linked to Canadian Independent Bookstore Day on April 24, an initiative launched this year by the new Canadian Association of Independent Booksellers to encourage Canadians to support their local bookstore.

“Amazon’s influence is an issue that also concerns Canada,” read a press release, as “131 independent Canadian bookstores have closed their doors permanently since 2012, six of which were Black Bond Books branches.”

Founded in 1963, Black Bond is a family owned and operated local bookseller with four locations currently under this banner, up from 12 locations at the peak of business.

Likewise, Book Warehouse owner Cathy Jesson owns two locations under this banner, having purchased from an operator who retired in May 2012. At one point, the previous owner had eight Book Warehouse locations. .

Both are online at

The booksellers association said Amazon had “shut out” local bookstores and other small businesses across the country, “resulting in the loss of local jobs, local tax revenues and a sense of personality, community and tradition of the neighborhood “.

Meanwhile, Amazon’s net sales are exploding.

“If you want us to be here tomorrow, you have to support us today,” notes Jesson in a press release, which indicates that 46 cents of every dollar spent at Black Bond Books is kept in the community.

While all of Black Bond Books’ stores have felt the effect of the COVID-19 restrictions, the release states, “None have felt it as intensely as the Central City location. Open since 1989, this location has seen a boom. Such a drop in traffic that it almost closed the doors for good in December 2020. Although it may have remained open, it has not come out of the woods. While the cause has been attributed to COVID-19, the pre-existing condition was and remains Amazon. ”

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