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Counteracting ‘the acid river of the retail mainstream’

2 June 2003

'Stilwell and Creasey (the manager and deputy manager) were there at the start of the retail revolution and it is pleasant to see them there near the end as the revolution destroys its youthful progeny, dissolving great bookshops in the acid river of the retail mainstream. As bookshop chains become better at retailing, but in some important respects less good at bookselling, a gap has emerged in the market for enterprising independents that do not have to trade basic bookshop efficiency for institutional shareholder satisfaction. If that was not the case it would be commercial suicide for the London Review of Books to open a serious bookshop so close to Charing Cross Road, where stock range, brand names and discounts still make that street famous the world over for books.'

David Blow writing in Publishing News about the opening of the London Review of Books bookshop in London