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McLaren Books – Specialist Maritime Bookselling Business For Sale


I established McLaren Books way back at the end of 1976.

From an initial broad spectrum of subject areas, I rapidly developed a nautical speciality and over the ensuing years McLaren Books has developed into Scotland’s only specialist bookseller in matters maritime, and one of the few such specialists in the UK.

The business was incorporated into a private limited company in 2002.

Whilst primarily a mail order business, McLaren Books has also been a real bricks and mortar bookshop, and in more recent years has enjoyed the market opening benefits of the internet.



McLaren Books has always been a full-time business for me, for many years supporting, and involving, a growing family.

Latterly financial needs have not been so great and my wife and I run the business at a more leisurely, but still successful and profitable, pace

Current income streams include:

Mail Order Catalogue –  a small, but loyal customer mailing list supports my regular catalogue output, both in hard copy and electronic form.

Retail premises  –  opening hours are rather erratic these days but our Helensburgh shop still  draws discerning customers from near and far.

Internet  –  steady sales are produced from the McLaren Books own web site and from our listings on the booksellers’ umbrella site ‘ABE’.

Book Fairs  –  although not such a major feature of our business these days, we still exhibit a a few fairs around the country.



Mail Order  –  very little advertising has been placed in recent years. With a suitably targeted advertising campaign a new influx of catalogue customers might be added to the mailing list.

Retail Premises.  Again, little promotion of the shop, and restricted opening times.  Should the new owner wish to continue with retail premises, it is a feature of the business that could profitably be developed. There is still a surprising level of interest in real bookshops and the tactile and visual opportunities that they present.

Internet  –  Our web site ‘exists’ and works well, but much to the disappointment of of our site managers, little is done to promote it.  Though google maritime / nautical/ yachting, etc.  books, and we generally turn up on page one.  However, through the mysteries of social media and other dark forces, much more could be done to promote the site.

Stock  –  with the exception of a few targeted new books, our stock is restricted to the secondhand, rare, and collectable. This might profitably be extended to the large and popular new books resource of maritime titles.

We list our books on ‘ABE’, but have yet to explore the potentially massive on line market places such as Amazon and Ebay.

Presently located in the west of Scotland seaside town of Helensburgh, McLaren Books Ltd. is a business that could easily be relocated.



The new owner or owners of McLaren Books Ltd. would get:

Nearly forty years of business goodwill  –  a feature of business sales that is rather dismissed these days, but for a specialist, long-established and niche market business like McLaren Books, it is still a valuable asset.

A recognisable and respected brand name.

A start-up stock in the region of 4,000 – 4,500 books, with a priced value approaching £75,000*.

Quality solid wood shelving to accommodate the stock.

A fully e-commerce operational and search engine optimized web site which has drawn many favourable comments, and sales, since its launch two years ago.

Bespoke cataloguing software, together with a back catalogue of 20,000+ titles  –  a very useful reference tool in its own right.

Three month’s free consultancy services.

A positive life-style choice.


 All this is available at offers over £75,000

Interested?  –  call me, George McLaren D. Newlands, on 01436 676453 (+44 1436 676453) or email  george@mclarenbooks.com

Please note that a cursory internet company status check on McLaren Books Ltd. will show substantial financial liabilities. These refer to director’s loans and are not transferable with the business

* the start-up stock would contain books with a priced value of  less than £75. Books priced at £75 and over would be available to purchase at a very generous discount.

the information outlined above is deemed to be correct at the time of writing, but does not form any kind of binding contract.



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