Book Displays and the Return of Bookstores

It’s not often that we blog about book displays, but as we kick off 2016 it seems like a fitting topic. On the final day of 2015, The Wall Street Journal ran a column entitled, “Predictions: What to Expect in 2016.” In the piece, they featured 17 prominent thinkers who presented their view on the most significant developments they anticipate for 2016. The ideas presented were big: how technology will transform the financial services industry, advances in behavioral genetics, the fall of the Islamic State, and so on. I was surprised to see on the list of 17 major predictions the following: The Return of Bookstores.

The author of the prediction was Ann Patchett who argued that, despite the popularity of Amazon and e-readers, in 2016 customers would return to supporting their community book stores. The fact that this prediction was even mentioned on the same level as The Fall of the Islamic State says something about the importance and credibility of this major cultural shift. To support her prediction, Patchett argues that people are growing tired of pointing and clicking and dealing with computer screens in general. What’s been missing, she asserts, are stores that sell good books, have a staff of smart readers, a thriving children’s section, and maybe a couple of shop dogs.

Book Store Point Of Purchase Displays
Photo Courtesy of The Wall Street Journal

If Patchett’s prediction is correct, it would suggest that publishers need to give renewed focus to book displays that will help make books appealing to readers. Displays can also help to create the right kind of environment to complement the vibe that the shop dogs help to establish.

RICH LTD. has designed many book displays over the past several years, but today we’ll highlight just a few merchandising ideas that can help to sell more books and support the resurgence of bookstores. The first bookstore display fixture is one we designed with James Patterson Marketing for Books-A-Million stores.

Sheet Metal Book Display for James Patterson

This spinning circular floor display was constructed of sheet metal and wire. The display included castors, 4 levels of book pockets, and vinyl base and header graphics.

Our second example is a bookstore display fixture we designed and manufactured for Klutz, a division of Scholastic Books. This was just one display in a family of similar spinning floor displays. These displays featured an MDF base, metal tube frame, frosted PVC back panel, adjustable Injection molded plastic shelves and a digitally printed PVC header.

Klutz Spinning retail display for kids books

The third example is a high capacity end cap display we designed for Bendon Publishing. This included 2-tiered sheet metal bookstore display shelves for larger books and 3 upper rows of pegged accessory items.

Bendon endcap point of purchase display for childrens books

Our fourth example is a spinning counter display we designed for Lonely Planet. This 3-tiered display had a total of 12 pockets and included a stained wood base, center metal tube, wire pockets, and a circular PVC header.

Finally, we created the 4-shelf wood bookshelf display fixture for Delicious Living Magazine. It is a simple display and includes basic PVC shelf branding.


2016 could very well be the year of the return of the community book store. To make that happen, customer will have to purchase their books locally and support their local book stores.

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