Industry Analysis & Industry Trends
Book retailers have struggled through a difficult chapter over the five years through 2016-17. Industry operators have faced a tough trading landscape, with revenue expected to contract at a compound annual rate of 3.7% over the period. This is predominantly the result of increasing competition exerted on the industry by external operators, such as supermarkets and online retailers, and the falling popularity of physical books. The performance of book retailers has also been affected by fluctuations in the level of real household disposable income and consumer confidence.
Despite this negative narrative, there have been signs of improvement over the past two years. Physical book sales have been somewhat rejuvenated as sales of e-readers have slowed... purchase to read more
Industry Report - Industry Key Buyers Chapter
IBISWorld estimates that the industry has a high level of market concentration. The top four players are expected to account for 84.1% of industry revenue in 2016-17. The two largest players are high-street retail brands Waterstones and WH Smith. Together, these companies are expected to account for 74.6% of industry revenue in 2016-17. Concentration at the top of the industry has changed slightly since the exit of Borders in 2009, which was a major player in the industry with an estimated 15% share of the market when it closed. The exit of Borders left the only significant competition from within the industry from smaller bookshop chains, Blackwells and Foyles, and the growing discount book chain the Works.
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