Companies in this industry sell books from physical retail locations; they may also sell via websites. Major companies include Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, and Follett (all based in the US), as well as Fnac (France), Indigo Books & Music (Canada), Kinokuniya (Japan), Page One (China), Thalia (Germany), and WHSmith (UK).
Annual sales of books worldwide are about $120 billion, according to Pricewaterhouse Coopers' Global Entertainment and Media Outlook 2015-2019. Industry growth is expected to come in large part from India, driven by the country's expanding middle class. Countries such the US, the UK, Singapore, and South Korea have high tablet penetration and will see the strongest growth in e-books' share of consumer book revenue.
The US bookstores industry includes about 7,000 establishments (single-location companies and units of multi-location companies) with combined annual revenue of about $11 billion.
Online booksellers, such as Amazon.com, are covered in the industry profile for Internet & Catalog Retailers.
Demand is driven by consumer income. The profitability of individual companies depends on merchandising and marketing. Large companies can provide broader selections and lower prices. Small companies can compete by offering specialized products or serving a local market. The US industry is highly concentrated: the 50 largest companies account for about 85% of sales.
The industry is being redefined as booksellers fend off intense competition from mass merchandisers and online retailers and adjust to increasing acceptance by consumers of digital books as an alternative to printed...