Book Stores

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 2,500 book store firms in the US primarily sell books, magazines, and other types of reading materials. Major revenue categories include trade books; text books; CDs, records, and related audio products; religious books; mass market paperbacks; and magazines and newspapers. Book stores also sell meals, snacks, non-alcoholic beverages, souvenirs, novelty items, and stationery products. The industry is concentrated; the top four companies account for 69% of industry revenue.

Challenges of eBooks

Electronic books and their proprietary formats have been a challenge for independent book stores.

Competition from Alternative Sources

Book stores compete with a variety of alternative sources, including online retailers, traditional retailers, electronic distributors, publishers, and libraries.

Industry size & Structure

The average independent book store operates out of a single location, employs 10-11 workers and generates $1 million annually.

    • The book store industry is comprised of 2,500 firms that operate 6,000 stores, employ 66,700 workers and generate $9 billion in annual revenue.
    • The industry is concentrated; the top four companies account for 69% of industry revenue.
    • Large companies include Barnes & Noble, Follett Corporation, Books-a-Million, and Family Christian Stores.
    • The average college student spent $456 on course materials in Spring 2021 and 78% of students bought from college book stores, according to OnCampus Research and the National Association for College Stores (NACS).
                              Industry Forecast
                              Book Stores Industry Growth
                              Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                              Recent Developments

                              Mar 4, 2023 - Industry Expected To Withstand Possible Recession Well
                              • Bookstores will be the most recession-proof business for 2023, according to a Forbes Advisor analysis. Forbes Advisor assessed 60 small business types and used data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics and Google Trends to rank them. Each business type was given a score based on its performance in a handful of categories: Growth in number of businesses during the Great Recession of 2008 and the latter part of the pandemic, growth in wages during the same periods, and estimated startup costs. Bookstores saw the biggest increase in the number of businesses, at 43%, during the latter part of the pandemic. They also have a moderate startup cost. Bookstores had a 16% increase in wage growth during the latter part of the pandemic and a 13% increase in wage growth during the Great Recession of 2008.
                              • Barnes & Noble officials say that the nationwide book store chain has a plan to open 30 stores in 2023. The expansion comes after more than a decade of reducing store numbers in response to competition from Amazon. Barnes & Noble had 726 US locations at its peak in 2008 but now has 600. The company expects to complete more store openings than closures in 2023. The new stores will be designed like independent bookstores and will encourage customers to linger.
                              • About 65% of non-grocery retailers are adding real-time payment options, according to a report from PYMNTS and ACI Worldwide. Real-time payments are payments made between bank accounts that are initiated, cleared, and settled within seconds, at any time of the day or week, holidays, and weekends included. The most prominent example of a real-time payments network is The Clearing House’s RTP network. FedNow, the Federal Reserve’s anticipated real-time solution, will also fall under the definition of a real-time network. The Federal Reserve is projecting to launch FedNow in 2023.
                              • More robust websites with online ordering capabilities have helped independent book stores get a larger share of preorders, according to Publishers Weekly. Preorders for adult and children’s titles have grown significantly at Blue Willow Bookshop in West Houston, TX, for example. “We’ve worked hard to become the shipping center that we never imagined we would be — the shop has the lively mix of shopping and the sound of packing tape,” said owner Valerie Koehler, adding that she now knows how to ship to Dubai. Blue Willow has also done well recently with book sales to schools in conjunction with in-person and online author visits. “With so many virtual school visits, it takes many hands to fill all the orders,” Koehler said.
                              Get A Demo

                              Vertical IQ’s Industry Intelligence Platform

                              See for yourself why over 60,000 users trust Vertical IQ for their industry research and call preparation needs. Our easy-to-digest industry insights save call preparation time and help differentiate you from the competition.

                              Build valuable, lasting relationships by having smarter conversations -
                              check out Vertical IQ today.

                              Request A Demo