On Friday, June 3, ABA member bookstores are scheduled to receive a special e-mail from the National Association of College Stores’ (NACS) OnCampus Research that will signal the start of the ABACUS-10 Survey process. This year’s survey reflects changes based on significant input from booksellers on ABA’s five-member ABACUS Task Force, which convened via conference call in April.
At the Task Force’s recommendation, this year’s survey has been christened ABACUS-10 to reflect that bookstore financial data submitted to the survey is based on 2010 operations. Several new questions have been added to the survey, and the additional data gathered will enable the creation of new points for comparison in the customized store reports that all participating ABA members receive. The individualized reports analyze a 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.
“Creating financial and operational benchmarks for independent bookstores is a vitally important effort of ABA,” said COO Len Vlahos. “Having the tools to calculate your store’s health relative to the rest of the indie channel is invaluable. We hope all ABA member stores will participate in this year’s survey.”
This is the second year that ABA is producing ABACUS through a partnership with NACS. Thursday’s e-mail to ABA members will have the subject line “ABACUS-10 Survey Starts,” and the sender will be Martha Love, OnCampus Research information analyst. The e-mail will include the ABA member bookstore’s unique ABACUS-10 I.D. number for logging into the survey.
Store data is submitted 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 ABACUS 10 Survey deadline is August 12. Customized ABACUS reports will be sent to participating stores in the late fall.
A detailed summary of the ABACUS-10 data will be available for purchase by both ABA members that do not participate in this year’s study and non-members. Non-participating ABA member stores will be able to purchase the report at a discount. Reports are completely free to ABA members that participate in the survey.
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.