Les presses universitaires de France is opening a bookstore with no inventory — just an Espresso machine which will print your book for you. Shelf Awareness brings us the news, linking to this Associated Press story. “Bookstore general manager Frederic Meriot told the AP that he needs to sell about 15 books daily to break even, and had sold 60 on opening day.”
In this Monday, March 14, 2016 photo, French client Zeina Ganadry checks the listing to choose the biography of Montaigne from Stefan Zweig to be print on the Espresso Book Machine at the PUF bookstore in Paris. To many Parisians, the letters PUF have always been associated with the intellectual heart of the French capital. So when the 95-year-old venerable publishing house specializing in human and social sciences was forced to close its historic bookstore on the Place de La Sorbonne in 1999, it left a big void in the heart of many students and researchers. But Les Presses Universitaires de France (PUF) is back in town, just a stone’s throw from their previous location in the Quartier Latin neighborhood. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
I’ve never been privy to the economics of retail, but doesn’t 15 books a day seem rather low for a store in the center of Paris? Of course they’ll make money from the café they have for customers to use while awaiting their books. It will be fascinating to see how this fares. Good luck to them.