The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

The Fitness Programme was established by the BA’s Independent Booksellers Forum to help independent booksellers could gain more insight into their business and improve their business performance. In complete confidence, participating bookshops provide data on key fitness indicators such as trading space, opening hours, staff numbers, turnover, margins and overheads. The average and best performance for each measure is calculated.

The IBF Fitness Programme is a FREE, confidential service, provided by Nielsen Book Research on behalf of the BA. The Programme will help you to review areas such as staff costs and product sales, to compare overhead breakdowns and to enhance your business strategies by identifying key areas of growth across the sector. Previous participants tell us that they have benefited hugely from the programme with many using it to negotiate better deals with bank managers and suppliers.

"As small enterprises, independent bookshops can find it very difficult to get an idea of how you are doing as a business other than the rather dry balance sheet picture of profit and loss. By giving a broader picture on a range of measures, the Fitness Programme empowers booksellers to change for the better."
Tim O'Kelly, One Tree Books

How can the IBF Fitness Programme help my bookshop?

Past participants have used the findings to:
  • Benchmark their 'fitness' against the sector.
  • Identify key areas of growth across the sector.
  • Highlight key areas for improvement.
  • Drive business strategies.
  • Negotiate better deals with suppliers and bank managers.
  • Review staff costs.

What do I get from the IBF Fitness Programme?
  • - You receive a report on the independent sector which helps highlight the areas of your business which need attention.

What information do I have to provide and how?

Figures are required on turnover, margin, overheads, opening hours, staff numbers and trading space.
Source the information from your management accounts, your EPOS system and/or your annual accounts.

How can I take part?

Participation is completely FREE and confidential.
To register your interest for the programme, contact Pippa Halpin at the BA.

"I am a big fan of the IBF Fitness Programme. It gives me a useful base line to check my costs and performance against and the more of us that take part, the more accurate the information is."
Marie Moser, The Edinburgh Bookshop