Bookbarn International Group Limited
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Bookbarn International Group Limited
Bookbarn is a 21st Century bookseller, a Circular Business, that sells hundreds of thousands of used, antiquarian and new books both locally and globally from the Barn in Somerset. Revenues for the year to August 2020: £1.4M. Cambridge Rare Books acquired last July. In discussion with two more potential acquisitions.
About Bookbarn International Group Limited

The Company's trading address is 1 Hallatrow Business Park, Wells Road, Hallatrow, Bristol BS39 6EX

Bookbarn is re-inventing bookselling by finding new ways to connect a global community of book lovers with their next favourite read. BBIG has been trading since the year 2000 (in the current ownership since 2013).

On a valuation of £2.5 million, Bookbarn is raising £250,000 in equity through this Investment Memorandum as the first tranche of a financing round of £950,000.  This will:

  1. enable the Company to further enhance its tech-enabled IT systems for cataloguing and distribution; secondly,

  2. provide funding for further expansion, by way of additional acquisition and/or franchise development,

  3. provide a social media and marketing budget, as well as plug the short term cashflow gap arising from the Covid emergency closure of the café and physical shops.

Not only has BBIG created a strong brand combining leading-edge online technology with traditional bookselling but it has developed systems and software that manage the throughput of significant volumes of books.

After the enormous initial growth in ebooks, readers are now suffering from ‘digital fatigue’[1]. The e-book revolution may have increased the overall size of the book market, but the growth in the new, printed book market continues at 5% a year while growth in the ebook market has now slowed down. The first signs of a backlash against the dominance of Amazon and Waterstones in the UK book market brings an exciting opportunity for the new kind of bookselling being developed by Bookbarn.

BBIG’s Books-by-the-Yard website provides a wholesale outlet for large volumes of books for a multitude of uses from film and theatre set-decoration, to interior design, pub, restaurant decoration and private libraries. This department also supplies partners in China with container-loads of books.

Cafe - BookBarn

Complying with Government advice and rules BBIG closed its two bricks-and-mortar shops and café in March, to open them again in July and then closed again in November, re-opening in December. The shops and cafe are integrated with BBIG’s global ecommerce business. Operating from its large ‘barn’ in the Somerset countryside they are, once more, establishing themselves as a-popular visitor destination close to the cities of Bristol, Wells and Bath in the Mendip Hills.

The Darwin Rare Book Room provides a profitable outlet for rare and antiquarian books acquired with the general inflow of used books. The general bookshop offers 150,000 books for sale at prices ranging from £2 to £15 with new books for up to £30. Some Darwin Rare Books sell for hundreds of pounds. On re-opening, the café is trading on its previous popularity, serving a range of simple and healthy dishes.

The Bookbarn brand has been firmly established with local book lovers to the extent that around 25% of the books sold online have been donated, enabling the business to recycle far more books (and realise greater profit as a result) than do BBIG’s competitors who pulp sometimes as much as 80% of the books they take in. BBI keeps millions of books from being dumped in landfill. ‘Bookbarn International’ has been registered as a trademark with the Intellectual Property Office.

Image of Warehouse - BookBarn

BBIG’s 3,250 square metre warehouse (the Barn) hosts the two shops, the online cataloguing and order processing departments, some 750,000 books, and the café. At one end of the mezzanine floor is the separate business Oriental Rugs of Bath which pays rent and helps attract footfall to the building. The Barn is on the junction of the A37 with the A39 just south of Bristol. There are roughly 450,000 books in BBIG’s online stock; 50,000 waiting to be sorted and 50,000 added every month while the shops are making a further 150,000 available to the browsing public.

The average cost of books sold through all BBIG’s channels is running at 6.9% of sales value whether the books are donated, bought with a deferred payment or purchased with an advance payment as sometimes occurs with bulk B-2-B purchases.

BBIG's mission statement lays out the company's values. BBIG:

  • is a high-tech business that sells hundreds of thousands of second-hand and antiquarian books, both locally and globally, saving them from landfill and incineration;
  • works responsibly as it builds a community, both online and off, of lovers of new and used books, a community where staff, customers, colleagues, partners, suppliers and shareholders are valued;
  • supports its customers in choosing to shop ethically, sustainably and economically so they can Read, Re-Use and Recycle;
  • is a circular economy business that involves its customers and suppliers in doing what is good for the planet;
  • aims to be the second largest seller of used and antiquarian books in the UK;
  • seeks a listing on a British or European stock exchange by 2022.

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Offer Information
Min Max
Investment Target £100,000 £250,000
Share Price £0.76 £0.76
Shares Offered info 131,579 328,947
Percentage Offered info 3.95% 9.31%
Shares Issued info 3,203,073
Pre-money Valuation £2,434,335
Share Type Ordinary
Minimum Investment £35.00
Tax Relief Available None
Sector Art, Music & Design
Education & Training
Location London, United Kingdom
Company Number 04367645
Pitch Launched On 16/12/2020
Pitch Closes On 30/04/2021
Accepted Payment Methods
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