New Web Site!

We now have a dedicated web site This means that this blog will not be updated any longer. Please use the new site for any comments and to see the latest news. You can also follow us on Twitter @malvernbookcoop

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Some new photos of the shop now we are open.

We have been open for nearly two weeks now. The response has been great. We are mastering ‘the beasts’ (the coffee machine, till and computer system). If you have not been in to see us we’d love to see you. If you have been in do come again; the book stock is changing everyday as we order new titles.

You can find our opening times and location here

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Trading Day 1!

Well we are open! Day one trading complete and members will be happy to know that over £500 will be in the bank tomorrow morning! Staff were frazzled but happy at the end of the day.

On Wednesday the rest of our stock will arrive and we hope to open the second room. This stock will be the fiction for grown ups ( I can’t bring myself to say ‘adult fiction’ as that has too many smutty connotations).

As of today we have a  feed where we will post quick updates and offers etc. You can follow us @malvernbookcoop .

The next thing we would like is to prepare a list of members’ favourite books – we can recommend them to our customers! If you post them here with a short recommendation we can order copies to stock in the shop. If you can’t choose just one recommend more!


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Shop fitting in full flow!


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Opening Membership Letters

Opening Membership Letters

The membership offer has been going really well. We now have enough financing to open and stock the shop…

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Shop Fitting #101

Shop Fitting #101

Shop fitting underway….

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Great support after meetings

Well things have been moving on quickly since the public meetings with applications coming in steadily! We have now sold about 80 shares and so we are progressing nicely. If you are interested in buying shares then please send your application to us at the shop – 2 St Ann’s Road and we will be delighted to process it. Once this is done we will send you a confirmatory email/letter and issue a share certificate later.

Things are also happening in the shop. We have sourced shelves which will be collected soon and installed after a lick of paint. A joiner is coming in to build us a counter and the first book order has been placed! We are now planning our opening which will be during the easter holidays – date to be confirmed. All very exciting!

So thanks for all your interest and comments. Please keep ideas and offers coming in (we have had an offer of a laptop and PC so thanks). We would love to hear from you with ideas for events and would welcome any offers to run one of these. We will update the blog again soon with news of our opening date.



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Membership shares – please buy one!

Well the time has come to go public and ask for support in a tangible form. If you are coming along to one of the public meetings we’ll explain the membership share scheme in detail. If you can’t make it then here is a potted version.

To finance the Co-op we need a minimum of £25,000. This will cover the start-up costs, the costs of stocking the shop and our ongoing working capital requirement. We plan to raise this money by selling membership shares and by borrowings. If we borrow we need to pay interest and repay the loan. This is a significant cost. The more we raise from shares the less interest we pay and the more viable the business is. If we could raise all £25,000 from share sales we would pay no interest and save about £6,600 each year in interest and loan repayments. We have started thinking of costs in terms of books sales. £6,600 is about the profit we would earn from selling 1,500 books!

We are selling shares of £50 each. You can buy as many as you like up to a maximum of £2,500 worth. Of course we would like you to buy as many as you can! However many you buy you will have just one vote in meetings. The shares are ‘withdrawable’. This means they are not like the shares in a normal company. You cannot sell your shares and their value will not go up and down. If the shop makes a profit we can return it to members either as ‘divi’ based on the amount they purchase from the shop in a year (like the main Co-operative food shops do) or as interest on the amount they invest. This decision will be made each year at the Annual General Meeting. After 2 years you can apply to withdraw up to 25% of the amount you originally invested each year.

If you are thinking of investing then please read:

If you would like to invest then please fill in the application form.

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Public Meetings

Things have been moving on apace. The work on the shop is nearly complete and we have started thinking about the shop layout. The next big event is for us to hold public meetings for anyone interested in the bookshop. We are holding these meetings to give folk  the chance to find out about the new shop, how you can become a member of the cooperative by buying a community share and the benefits of being a member.

The meetings will be held on the 23rd and 29th of February at 7.30pm in the shop at 2 St Ann’s Road, Malvern. You only need to come to one.Please do come along. Tell anyone you know who might be interested to come along too! Share a link to this post with your friends.

To launch the shop we need around £20,000 to cover shop fittings and the initial stock. Some of this has already been funded by the existing coop members, some we will borrow but we hope a significant amount will come from supporters investing in the project. At the meetings we will explain how this investment in membership will work.

In the meantime you can browse the wonderful examples of bookshops that have been featured in the Guardian this week. They provide us with inspiration and something to work towards. What is it about bookshops – I can’t imagine 200 people leaving comments about their favourite shoe shop.

You might also think about what you’d like to see us stock – leave a comment here with any ideas!

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Who are We??

Several people who have contacted us have asked about the current members of the co-op. So here’s a brief outline of the 7 founder members!

Sarah Creber

Sarah has a passion for children’s literature, sport and art. She is a teacher with a great deal of experience in the independent sector within Malvern and, more recently, in primary schools.

Susan Raine

Susan is a musician and music teacher. She originally trained as a librarian. She has lived in Malvern for over thirty years. Her main interests are gardening, local history and the arts.

Mary Herbert

Mary is a Biology teacher at Hereford 6th Form College. She is a closet potter with interests in Art and Music.

Helen Barker

Helen has been a primary school teacher in Malvern for many years. She is interested in anything associated with tea and cake and develops her appetite through cycling and rowing. She also trained as a librarian

Dan Herbert

Dan is a lecturer in Accountancy at Birmingham University. He is interested in the relationship between the real world and the virtual world. He’s the main author of this blog.


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