Curious, adventurous, and solemnly swearing that he is up to no good.
Published April 24th 2013
Discounts, dummies, with decadence to boot
Sometimes, it runs in the family. The Book Boys, compared to its numerous contemporaries in the business, are an embryonic enterprise that has been steadily casting its net across the state. First introduced to the South Australian community in 2005, a father and his three sons were, and still are, the pioneers of this enterprise, boldly competing in a market full of more illustrious luminaries.
The concept is ridiculously simple: run a book shop in its unmistakeable, traditional format, and it has worked a treat. Several branches have been opened since, and temporary centres are also modus operandi for the Book Boys.
With its strategic location, I ran into one at Rundle Street, the heart of the shopping and the hustle and bustle of Adelaide CBD. Along with the fact that this store has not appeared in its website, my hunch says that this is their newest store yet. Despite its traditional business format, from the outside it actually does not look out of place in this chic and urban setting.
Another marketing aspect the Book Boys take huge pride in is their discounted prices for just about everything, from fiction, travellers' guides, and even their "dummy" guides. Never in my life have I seen such an extensive collection of guides for "dummies" in one corner of a bookshop. Plus, it's right beside an equally eye-catching Lonely Planet shelf. "Dummies" and tourists alike may need to burn a few calories getting to the very end of the store, but you might like what you find at the end.
One gripe I might have about this store, though, is the rather haphazard organizing of books and products for various demographics. Adult novels atop tables might be accompanied with children's storybooks and jigsaw puzzles on or under the table. But then again, this might suit the parents who want to keep their children close with them.
Another draw, albeit a temporary one, are the 2013/2014 calendars of the South Australian fire fighters you find on the way in/out, depending on when you see them. This, I can safely confirm, is for the ladies' guilty pleasure (& maybe some men).
All in all, if a concept ain't broke, why fix it? With its classic business format, aggressive expansion and discounts, as well as strategic locations, The Book Boys might be one to look out for in the future. Its Rundle Street store serves as an alternative distraction for some tired from walking and shopping all day too.