Brief Excerpt from Industry Overview Chapter:
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 Darty (France), Indigo Books & Music (Canada), Kinokuniya (Japan), Thalia (Germany), Waterstones, and WHSmith (UK).
The potential long-term effects to bookstores as a result of the coronavirus outbreak may be severe. Store closures and self distancing by consumers will drive sales lost to online booksellers, notably Amazon, which the industry has been battling for decades. Already suffering year-over-year declines in sales, the virus is likely to accelerate sales declines at bookstores.Amid competition from online retailers and mass merchandisers, sales at US bookstores have declined significantly over the past decade, from nearly $17 billion in 2008 to about $9.6 billion in 2018. Major bookstore chains have been particularly hard-hit. Independent bookstores -- once given up for dead -- are staging a comeback, however. Sales at independent bookstores rose approximately 5% in 2018 over 2017, according to the American Booksellers Association (ABA). The US has more than 2,400 independent bookstores, an increase of about 45% since 2009. The increase in store count follows a 43% plunge between 1995 (the year after Amazon's founding) and 2000, the ABA reports. While book sales may never recover to their pre-internet highs, brick-and-mortar bookstores appear to have a future. Amazon apparently thinks so....
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