The bookstore was already in place before 1989. Would you tell us how it became your business.
I had already worked as a bookstore manager in the Volksbuchhandel during the GDR era. After the “Wende” in 1989, the business then fell to the Treuhand. So the question arose, how do we proceed? Either some big chain takes over and the individuality is lost, or we do it ourselves. So, we decided to go for it.
How was that for you?
It was a lot at the beginning, we had a lot to learn, it was exciting, it was new – and it was nice, we finally had everything we wanted to sell. There were no more restrictions, no limits.
The diversity is still there, but unfortunately quality has often fallen by the wayside.
Books are subject to fixed book prices in Germany, which means that book cost the same both online and in any stationary bookshop. Is the increase in online trade nevertheless having an impact on you?
This is something that most citizens are not aware of at all. Many believe they can get the book cheaper on Amazon or other major chains. However, this is not the case and delivery is usually no faster than ordering directly from us.
A few years ago there was a big debate about Amazon and Co., saying that the trade in the cities cannot keep up with the big retailers. So there was a rethink among customers for a while. Some customers then came back to us and have been ordering from us or our online shop ever since.