Domnitz Scholarship Open to 2010 ABACUS Participants

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For the second year, the American Booksellers Association will award the Avin Mark Domnitz Scholarship to the Winter Institute in honor of the former ABA CEO's wide-ranging contributions to independent bookselling. The scholarship to the Sixth Annual Winter Institute (Wi6), to be held in Arlington, Virginia, from January 19 - 21, 2011, is open to the owners and regular employees of bookstores that submit their 2009 financial data to the ABACUS Survey before the October 29 deadline. The scholarship covers travel expenses up to $350, and up to a four-night stay at the Wi6 host hotel.

Data gathering for the 2010 ABACUS study commenced at the beginning of August with an e-mail sent to ABA member stores from the National Association of College Stores’ OnCampus Research. ABA is encouraging booksellers to submit their 2009 financial data to the completely confidential survey as soon as possible. All participants will receive a customized report that can be used to help manage costs, adjust budgets, and evaluate leases. Nicole Magistro of Bookworm of Edwards said that participating in the financial survey each year helps her see what larger and more profitable stores are doing. As an owner of a smaller store, she is able to create fiscal goals that are based on other stores’ successes.

“It is this type of benchmarking that has allowed us to take calculated risks to expand and grow our business,” she said.

Thanks to ABACUS, Magistro was able to make big changes that led to greater rewards. In 2007, she moved her store to a higher traffic area, increased its square footage, added a full-service cafe, and expanded the store’s hours.

“The changes we made were a direct reflection of what we saw in our past ABACUS numbers as they related (or didn't!) to the most profitable stores in our industry,” said Magistro. “Our bank, landlord, and colleagues were able to see how our plan fit into the larger industry trends to add high-margin items, renegotiate our occupancy expenses, and increase overall sales.”

Magistro added, “Now more than ever, ABACUS is the type of concrete tool we need in this ever-changing landscape of bookselling.”

Booksellers at stores that have submitted their 2009 financial data to ABACUS can apply for the Avin Mark Domnitz Scholarship by sending an e-mail with "Domnitz Scholarship" in the subject line to ABA Education Manager Lisa Winn; the e-mail should include the applicant's name, staff title, store name, and store contact information.