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), Page One (China), Thalia (Germany), and WHSmith (UK).
The first target of the Amazon onslaught, book selling is being redefined by intense competition from online retailers, mass merchandisers, including Costco, Target, and Wal-Mart, and acceptance by consumers of digital books as an alternative to printed books. Industry consolidation and bankruptcies have left only a handful of national players. Bookstore operators have shrunk their store bases and shifted to a multichannel business model to accommodate changing consumer buying habits and migration to e-books. To compensate for falling book sales, bookstores are selling more toys, games, gifts, and other products, putting them in competition with other types of retailers. Books may compete with other recorded media content (music, video, and games) for consumer spending on leisure/entertainment.
Products, Operations & Technology
The industry is segmented into general, college, and specialty bookstores. General bookstores sell mostly trade books (fiction, nonfiction, adult, children’s); college bookstores, mostly textbooks; and specialty bookstores, mostly religious books. Trade books and textbooks each account for about 30% of sales. Religious books represent about 5%. Bookstores may also sell music, DVDs, magazines, toys, and gifts.