Pengwern Books goes up against Amazon

An independent bookshop in Shrewsbury has turned to a digital solution this Christmas, as it steps up to compete with Amazon during the lockdown.

Pengwern Books in Fish Street is one of over 200 independents signed up to a new online platform launched to help local small bookshops take on big online sellers. UK launched in the UK on November 2 to help independents during the critical Christmas shopping period, the first month of which will now be spent in lockdown.

Customers can buy through when they want to shop for books online and independent bookshops will receive the full profit margin from each sale they generate on the platform.

Books are also offered at a small discount and will be delivered to customer’s doors within two to three days.

Susan Caroline, the founder of Pengwern Books, which has been serving book lovers in Shrewsbury and beyond for over 16 years, welcomed the launch of the new platform in the UK.

She said: “The Bookshop website is a fabulous opportunity for every independent bookshop and I have already set up my shop on the site. 

“It is great that those customers who want to shop online but also want to support their local bookshops can now do precisely that via the Bookshop website!  

“However, to ensure that their local bookshop reaps the benefit of their online purchases, it is so important that customers place their orders via that bookshop’s page on  the site. They can use the ‘find a bookshop’ tab at the top of each page to locate them on the site. 

“My customers can order books via my online shop at” first launched in the USA in January and has already raised over $7.5m for independent bookshops in the States. 

The UK launch was brought forward in response to the significant impact of the pandemic on independent retailers, which has seen Amazon enjoying an even greater advantage over the High Street.

Now more than ever, UK bookshops need support from online sales in the busy pre-Christmas shopping period.

Bookshop founder and CEO, Andy Hunter, said: “Bookshops are essential to a healthy culture, and online sales are vital to safeguarding their future. We can’t afford to lose them. 

“COVID-19 has added further urgency to the need for bookshops to compete for online sales.’s mission is to empower customers in supporting local, brick and mortar bookstores, providing book buyers with an easy way to shop online while continuing to support their local high street.”

Nicole Vanderbilt, UK Managing Director at, and former International VP at Etsy added: “At a time when Amazon has enjoyed an even greater advantage over high street competitors as a result of the pandemic, offers a socially conscious alternative to customers wishing to shop online, while supporting bookshops in competing in an e-commerce environment.”

Customers can buy a book from Penwern Books Bookshop at