Supermarkets and Internet Bookselling 'most dramatic' rise

Supermarkets and the internet have shown the most dramatic growth in market share over the past two decades at the expense of "book and stationery stores" and direct mail booksellers, according to the latest data from Book Marketing Ltd. Dedicated books stores have also increased their market share over the twenty-year period.

The research company, which has examined the changes in the trade over the past 20 years in its Books and Consumers surveys, showed the sharpest drop in where adults bought books was in book and stationery stores. While approximately 41% purchased books in such retailers during 1989, only 24% did in 2009. Direct mail booksellers were also affected, having attracted 21% of adults buying books in 1989, but only 12% last year.

Supermarkets, meanwhile, saw their share of the market grow from just 9% of adults in 1989 to 20% last year - the biggest climb for retailers already in existence 20 years ago. The internet has grown from nothing in 1989 to having 18% of adults buy books through the channel last year.

Dedicated bookshops also had a successful 20 years, representing a third of adult book purchases last year, compared with 26% in 1989.