Archive for September, 2009

Return of the student.

Uni returns, freshers find their feet, west end bars and restaurants get full (try getting a table in Ketchup, ever) and thankfully, many of them have found their way into the bookshop and face to face with textbooks that they need. Ok forgive my slighty stupid/florid way of saying that we have had good sales of late. Our 10% off flyer-vouchers seem to work best as general advertising tools, a few students saying that they objected to the idea of getting a discount from a charity shop. A nice attitude to see, to be honest, rather than the bashing we sometimes receive for being overpriced.

Also our new Unwrapped range launches Monday October 5th, and our fiction/crime/sci-fi paperback 3 for 2 sale wraps up this weekend.

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Oxfam’s official book blog has published a fairly comprehensive article on the literary event at Glasgow City chambers(includes a link to this blog). Nice to see. It’s also worth mentioning that Bookfest will be continuing next year. It will most likely evolve through feedback received and lessons learned from the inaugural events. The thinking cap is already on.. 


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Courtesy of www.oxfam.org.uk, 19/09/09:

Ever since Alexander Graham-Bell picked up the phone and said, “Mr Watson, come here. I want to see you”, there have been some pretty important telephone calls. Now you can join the list of people who have used the phone for world changing stuff.

There will be a “Wake Up Call” to leaders all over the world on 21 September. World leaders are meeting at the United Nations General Assembly on 22 September and the leaders of the G20 – the world’s biggest economies – will be meeting a few days later.

Ahead of those meetings people will be calling their leader to reinforce the message that at the UN Climate Change Summit in Copenhagen this December they must agree a deal that saves the planet, and the people on it, from run-away climate change.

People across the UK need to pick up the phone and tell the Prime Minister that they want him to ensure strong action in every international meeting from now until the big one in Copenhagen. You can say pretty much anything you like but make sure you call him on 020 8144 7459.

However, if you want to go into detail, here are a couple of tips about how you can direct the conversation.

1. The PM must make sure that the UN and G20 work towards rich countries reducing their emissions by at least 40% by 2020.

2. Rich countries provide at least $150 billion a year for developing countries, so that they can develop cleanly and deal with the immediate impacts of climate change.

Copenhagen will be vital but at every international meeting we must take important steps towards ensuring we get the right outcome in December. The PM needs to be in no doubt that thousands of people are demanding that a fair and safe deal is done at Copenhagen.

So call him on 020 8144 7459 and you never know, you might get a “hullo” – that’s Gordon Brown answering – from the other end. You will probably be greeted by a voicemail so make sure you leave a message. You can also leave one below letting us know what you’ve said to the PM.

I don’t know what was so urgent that Mr Bell needed to invent the phone to get hold of his mate Mr Watson, but I’m sure he never grasped the implications of his invention. So phone the PM and let him know that you need to speak to him about climate change. You never know what it might lead to.

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In an instant, the city transforms. Or at least that how it seems. Byres Road can be quiet at 9.15am in the summer months. You remember that a huge percentage of the west end population is away. And suddenly – whoosh – one morning you’re opening up and throngs of students are everywhere. Time to get the window filled with textbooks….

This year the three Byres Road shops are issuing 10% discount vouchers. Yesterday we handed around 800 out on University Avenue for Glasgow Uni Fresher’s Fair. Strathclyde and Caledonian fairs are next week. The next two/three weeks usually see a spike in our takings with students looking to save money on their reading list outlays, so fingers crossed this year will bring the same.

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While out and about on Saturday last I noticed some welcome changes to Byres road and beyond. The downturn has caused significant changes to local retail, with many established businesses going under or moving out. It’s good to see new ventures moving in to the area. And maybe an afternoon of unbroken sun had something to do with it but I definitely had a sense that Byres road was resurging. Waitrose is due to open on the former Somerfield site. Tesco have apparently taken over Woolies old site. The new coffee and ice-cream cafe is booming. Vintage guru is a new retro clothes shop opened near Tennants bar. Further down there is a brand-new vintage lingerie shop and two units given over to a new bar-restaurant from the same people that developed The Left Bank on Gibson St. There’s a new venture on the bottom-felt corner of Byres road,  a new wine merchants round the corner on Dumbarton Road, a new cafe further along by Beanscene. You get the idea I think. For a while it seemed new and quirky ventures were only cropping up over by Woodlands and Gt Western Road after Kelvinbridge. So along with the likes of Specsavers and Vodafone, I’m pleased to see small and independent businesses taking a shot on our doorstep too.

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Shop updates

Having run back to back weeks of successful 3 for 2 promotions on the crime and sci-fi paperback sections, we have decided to include science-fiction and extend it for one more week on all three sections!! Make the most of it folks.

The postcard sale is winding down (very pleased with this year’s) and we are slowly beginning the shift toward the christmas season. All of our dated lines (2010 diaries, calendars, family organisers) are on display and a selection of our Christmas cards will be out in the next week. 

Also, with Fresher’s Fairs beginning this week, we will be concentrating on getting the best of our academic stock out into the sales and display areas. This year we have joined up with the clothes and music stores on Byres road to offer 10% off donated stock in any of the stores. We have flyers detailing the promotion and we will be handing them out at Glasgow Uni this week, Strathclyde and Caledonian Uni’s next week.

Finally, a teaser: a special loyalty promotion is on the way. This will be something that can benefit any of our bookshop customers so stay posted for more details.

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Facebook have finally given us permission to use “Oxfam” in the title of our business page. I have heard that there is the beginnings of a movement away from the site, but we will put ourselves up there nonetheless! The link for the page is:


Please go ahead and become a fan. The page is attached to this personal page for the shop:


I’m not sure what kind of contact you get with a business page. My concern is that you become a fan and then you forget about it so we may well use the personal page as our shop outlet. Anyway, scant info up there just now. Will be remedied as soon as.

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