2010 ABACUS Initiative Begins

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On Thursday, August 5, ABA member bookstores were scheduled to receive a special e-mail from the National Association of College Stores' (NACS) OnCampus Research regarding the American Booksellers Association's 2010 ABACUS financial survey. The e-mail, providing both information on how to participate in the survey and relevant materials, begins the data collection process for the 2010 ABACUS initiative.

ABA announced in April that it would produce the 2010 ABACUS Survey through a new partnership with NACS.

“We are very pleased to be starting this important step in the 2010 ABACUS Survey with NACS. They have an accomplished research department with many years of experience in carrying out similar surveys for college bookstores," said ABA COO Len Vlahos. “ABACUS is a unique and very important resource for indie bookstores, and its success rests on active bookseller participation. We hope that booksellers will respond to the e-mail from NACS as soon as they can to help ensure that ABACUS 2010 is a success.”

ABA members that participate in ABACUS receive a customized report analyzing their store's financial results, including comparisons with other businesses based on multiple criteria (such as sales level, store size, and community type) in addition to year-to-year trending information.

For many booksellers, ABACUS has been an important factor in store profitability. "I have made a lot of headway in making my store profitable as quickly as possible using [ABACUS] data," Candy Pearson of Apple Blossom Books in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, told BTW last year. "The improvement in the performance for my store between the first 16 months in business without this data and the next two calendar years with the data is very pronounced."

The OnCampus Research e-mail sent to ABA members will have the subject line “ABACUS Survey Starts Today,” and the sender will be Martha Love, OnCampus Research information analyst. The e-mail from Love will contain a brief overview of this year’s collection process, relevant files to assist in information gathering, and a link to the online survey form.

Importantly, booksellers will be submitting their information to ABACUS via a completely secure and confidential electronic form, and, once submitted, data is only accessible to Love, as the OnCampus Research staff person responsible for the survey. The 2010 ABACUS Survey deadline is October 29.

Booksellers with questions about submitting data to the survey can contact Love at OnCampus Research via e-mail. Booksellers who have general questions about ABACUS can contact Vlahos via e-mail or at (800) 637-0037 ext. 6650.