One of the sessions of Readmagine 21 was devoted to the bookshops under the title of «The hybrid bookshop», focused on presenting the challenges of the book outlets within the pandemic crisis and the new models to compete with the big platforms. Enrique Pascual, Director of Marcial Pons booksellers and President of the Madrid Bookseller Association, moderated the session with the participation of Fabian Paagman, Director-owner of Paagman Bookshops and co-president of the European and International Booksellers Federation and Alberto Rivolta, Chief Executive Officer retail and COO Feltrinelli Group.
Enrique Pascual opened the conversation by saying that «Bookstores can change but our main task remains, I mean, we sell books, we have to know our customers, we have to select the book for our customers and we have to put the books in the way our customers like; that’s our main task». Later on the three of the speakers talked about the chances of smaller bookshops than Feltrinelli or Paagman to implement omnichannel strategies.
You can follow their conversation on this video and listen to different ideas and answers to the questions from the audience.
Enrique Pascual Pons has developed his entire professional career in Marcial Pons, where he has held different positions until he became the current Director of Bookstores and Counselor of the publishing houses of Law and History. He is currently the President of the Madrid Booksellers Guild and the Madrid Book Fair. He has been a member of the Board of Directors of the Madrid Publishers Association for seven years, where he has coordinated the Scientific, Technical and Academic Publishers Commission. Professor of the Master of Cultural Management at the Universidad Carlos III. Author of different articles for Trama y Texturas magazine and the book “Build loyalty through the profession”, published by Fundación GSR.
Fabian Paagman is Director-owner of family business Paagman bookshops: 4 stores in The Hague and surroundings (Netherlands). A fifth store will be added in April 2022. Together with his sister, he is the third generation to manage this completely independent family business with approximately 130 employees. In addition, since 2012 Fabian is executive-committee member of the European and International Booksellers Federation (EIBF) and since 2014 involved in the position of co-president. Through its member associations, EIBF speaks on behalf of more than 25,000 individual booksellers. In this capacity, EIBF is the legitimate voice of booksellers in Europe and worldwide.
Alberto Rivolta is Chief Executive Officer retail and COO Feltrinelli Group. Graduated in Management Engineering at Polytechnic of Milan, he began his career as a strategic management consultant, achieving top positions within the board and management team. He has led complex projects for important companies in the publishing, media, insurance and asset management industries, as an expert in strategy, start-ups and change management. In January 2015 he joined Feltrinelli Group, with the aim to develop and manage all business activities of the Group, above all in the the Retail Business Unit, where he starts and leads a digital transformation and omnichannel strategy path with LaFeltrinelli, Ibs.it and Libraccio.it brands.