All of us at the James Findlay Bookshop have been severely and adversely affected by the current State of Disaster and lockdown situation announced by South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, as a result of the Covid-19 Coronavirus. Since we rely predominantly on tourism, we already saw a massive downturn in business in early March, when the first infection was announced.
We are located inside the historical Rand Club in the heart of Johannesburg's financial district and we sell a variety of books, prints, antique maps and other paper ephemera, all original pieces and historically significant. Our shop is an impressive space and also serves as a venue for events such as jazz nights, quiz nights and book launches. Furthermore, the inner city tour guides often bring their groups of both foreign and local tourists to the shop as one of the stops along their routes.
Over and above our retail space, we also run an online collectable book auction (Jellyfishtree.com), which is a platform for other book dealers to sell their treasures and assists them in sustaining their own business models. Prior to the lockdown, we were in the process of launching a new and vastly improved auction website for both our buyers and sellers. We are unable to run any auctions at this time, to the detriment of all our users.
During the lockdown, we have been working on a brand new retail website. The entire book trade has been very negatively impacted by the lockdown and we hope that this retail website will breathe new life into the industry, allowing other dealers to sell their books remotely on an online platform, thus reducing their overheads and keeping the trade alive. We also intend to work with the African Book Trust to enable informal book traders in Johannesburg CBD to be able to sell online, as they have been the most harshly impacted by the lockdown. The development of this website is proving costly, and with no income being derived from sales, we are concerned that we will not be able to complete it timeously with our current cashflow constraints.
We appreciate any donations during this challenging time. If you prefer, you can also purchase a voucher to use in the store or to make an online purchase once the lockdown is over, the details of which are on our Facebook page, or follow the link herebelow:
Thank you for helping us to keep our doors open. We can't wait to see everyone again.