Thalia is the largest bookstore chain in Germany with over 300 locations and is facing some serious problems. Sales are at record lows due to stiff competition from Amazon and for the last few months an investment bank has been exploring opportunities to sell the retail chain to another buyer.
The parent company of Thalia, Douglas has commissioned investment bank Macquarie to explore options to sell the company. The price tag was apparently too high for anyone to outright purchase the bookstore chain and is now off the market.
Thalia is going to undergo a restructuring and modernization program that will transform the retail experience. Most of their stores are dull and drab. Bookselling today is about bright lighting, friendly staff, cleverly designed bookcases that display new hardbacks, an espresso coffee machine behind the checkout counter and many unbookish things such as novelty items, jigsaws, games, children’s toys, Paddington bears, greetings cards and upmarket stationery. Bookstores in the UK and US are not all about books anymore, but they have transformed into lifestyle stores. In order for Thalia to fend off e-Books and Amazon, they need to change.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.