Saturday, August 11, 2007

Book Reading and Book Buying in the UK Decreases

According to Research and Markets' "UK Book Retailing 2007," the UK book retailing is in a state of flux. Until recently the books market was highly fragmented with demand split between numerous specialist retailers. But over the last 10 years this situation has changed fundamentally, culminating in the landmark merger between the two largest UK based books specialists in July 2006.

Despite the initiatives of specialists to promote book reading and book buying, their market share will continue to fall as grocers and online specialists expand their book businesses. Over 2006-11, specialists will increase their sales by 8.7%, but their share of the books market will fall from 43.8% to 40.0%. Specialists will at least defend their market share more successfully than either book clubs or non-specialists.

The book club model is set to lose more market share than any other channel as like other types of mail order retailer, it failed to seize advantage of the Internet. In 2006, consumer spending on books amounted to £3.4bn, giving books a 1.3% share of total retail expenditure. In broad terms demand for books has experienced fairly healthy growth over the past decade spending on the category has increased by 77.9%, well in advance of the 49.4% increase in retail spending.

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