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1371.0 - Book Retailers, Australia, 2003-04  
Latest ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 20/09/2005  Final
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SCOPE AND COVERAGE

1 This publication presents results, in respect of the 2003-04 financial year, from a survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) of employing businesses with book retailing activity.


2 Book retailing activity is not confined to any one industry. Information from the 1998-99 Retail Industry Survey estimated that businesses (as classified on the ABS Australian Business Register) in four retail industries were responsible for nearly all book sales by employing businesses to final consumers in Australia. Those industries, and their Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) classes, are as follows:

  • Supermarket and grocery stores (ANZSIC 5110) which consists of businesses mainly engaged in retailing groceries or non-specialised food lines, whether or not the selling is organised on a self-service basis.
  • Department stores (ANZSIC 5210) which consists of businesses mainly engaged in retailing a variety of goods (clothing; china, glassware and houseware; furniture; household appliances; etc.) normally sold by separate departments or sections within the store with accounting and other records maintained on a departmentalised basis.
  • Newspaper, book and stationery retailing (ANZSIC 5243) which consists of businesses mainly engaged in retailing books, periodicals, newspapers, stationery and religious goods.
  • Retailing n.e.c. (ANZSIC 5259) which consists of businesses mainly engaged in retailing goods not classified to the other retailing categories of ANZSIC.

3 The Book Retailers Survey is based on businesses classified to these four industries.


4 The 1998-99 Retail Industry Survey also found that in three of the four industries (namely, ANZSIC 5110, 5210 and 5259) businesses with less than 200 employees had negligible book sales (1% of total book sales). These businesses were excluded from the population frame for this survey.


5 Thus the population frame for the Book Retailers Survey consists of businesses with ANZSIC classes of 5110, 5210 or 5259 with 200 or more employees, and all employing businesses with an ANZSIC class of 5243. These businesses cover an estimated 97% of book sales to final consumers.


6 All businesses with an ANZSIC class of 5110, 5210 or 5259 and with 200 or more employees were contacted in relation to the survey. Similarly, all businesses with an ANZSIC class of 5243 and with 20 or more employees were contacted to determine their retail book sales. Data were obtained from a sample of businesses with an ANZSIC class of 5243 and less than 20 employees. Data from this sample were weighted to represent all businesses in Australia with an ANZSIC class of 5243 and less than 20 employees.


7 Data for the entire operations of businesses with an ANZSIC class of 5243 and with book sales comprising at least 50% of all their income were included in the survey results. For all other businesses, only data in respect of their book retailing activity were included. Please note that this is the same as in previous editions, in which this was incorrectly labelled as at least 50% of retail sales.



INTERPRETATION OF DATA

8 Estimates in this publication are presented at a sub-industry level for businesses with an ANZSIC class of 5243. Businesses with an ANZSIC class of 5243 and with book sales comprising at least 50% of their income have been categorised as ‘Bookshops’. Tables 3.1 to 3.9 in this publication relate only to the operations of these bookshops. Businesses with an ANZSIC class of 5243 and with book sales comprising less than 50% of their income have been categorised as ‘Newsagents’. Unless identified separately, newsagents are included with ‘Other booksellers’ for tables 2.1 to 2.5 presented in this publication. Please note that this is the same as in previous editions, in which this was incorrectly labelled being based on retail sales, rather than total income.



STATISTICAL UNITS DEFINED ON THE ABS BUSINESS REGISTER

9 The ABS uses an economic statistics units model on the ABS Business Register to describe the characteristics of businesses, and the structural relationships between related businesses. The units model is also used to break groups of related businesses into relatively homogeneous components that can provide data to the ABS.


10 In mid-2002, to better use the information available as a result of The New Tax System, the ABS changed its economic statistics units model. The new units model allocates businesses to one of two sub-populations. The vast majority of businesses are in what is called the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) Maintained Population, while the remaining businesses are in the ABS Maintained Population. Together, these two sub-populations make up the ABS Business Register population.


ATO Maintained Population

11 Most businesses and organisations in Australia need to obtain an Australian Business Number (ABN), and are then included on the ATO Australian Business Register. Most of these businesses have simple structures; therefore the unit registered for an ABN will satisfy ABS statistical requirements. For these businesses, the ABS is aligning its statistical units structure with the ABN unit. The businesses with simple structures constitute the ATO Maintained Population, and the ABN unit will be used as the economic statistics unit for all economic collections.


ABS Maintained Population

12 For the population of businesses where the ABN unit is not suitable for ABS statistical requirements, the ABS will maintain its own units structure through direct contact with the business. These businesses constitute the ABS Maintained Population. This population consists typically of large, complex and diverse businesses. The new statistical units model described below has been introduced to cover such businesses.


13 Enterprise Group: This is a unit covering all the operations in Australia of one or more legal entities under common ownership and/or control. It covers all the operations in Australia of legal entities which are related in terms of the current Corporations Law (as amended by the Corporations Legislation Amendment Act 1991), including legal entities such as companies, trusts, and partnerships. Majority ownership is not required for control to be exercised.


14 Enterprise: The enterprise is an institutional unit comprising (i) a single legal entity or business entity, or (ii) more than one legal entity or business entity within the same Enterprise Group and in the same institutional subsector (i.e. they are all classified to a single Standard Institutional Sector Classification of Australia subsector).


15 Type of Activity Unit (TAU): The TAU is comprised of one or more business entities, sub-entities or branches of a business entity within an Enterprise Group that can report production and employment data for similar economic activities. When a minimum set of data items are available, a TAU will be created which covers all the operations within an industry subdivision (and the TAU will be classified to the relevant subdivision of the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification). Where a business cannot supply adequate data for each industry, a TAU will be formed which contains activity in more than one industry subdivision.


16 For more information on the impacts of the introduction of the new economic statistics units model, refer to Information Paper: Improvements in ABS Economic Statistics [Arising from The New Tax System] (cat. no. 1372.0).


17 Data in this publication have been adjusted to allow for lags in processing new businesses to the ABS Business Register, and the omission of some businesses from the register.


18 Prior to 2001-02, the Book Retailers Survey used the management unit as the statistical unit. For issues of this publication relating to 2001-02 onwards, the statistical unit in the Book Retailers Survey is the ABN unit for businesses with simple structures, and the TAU for businesses with complex structures. In most cases, ABN/TAU units will concord with the management units used prior to 2001-02.



RELIABILITY OF DATA

19 Some of the estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from a sample of businesses (those with an ANZSIC class of 5243 and less than 20 employees). The estimates based on these sampled businesses are subject to sampling variability. That is, they may differ from the figures that would have been obtained if the survey had included all in-scope businesses. One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because information was collected from only a sample of businesses.


20 There are about 2 chances in 3 that a sample estimate will differ by less than one SE from the figure that would have been obtained if all businesses in the population had been included in the survey, and approximately 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be less than two SEs.


21 Sampling variability can be measured by using the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The RSE is a useful measure in that it provides an immediate indication of the percentage errors likely to have occurred due to sampling and hence does not require reference to the size of the estimate.


22 The following tables show the RSEs for some of the statistics presented in this publication.

Relative Standard Errors, Table 2.1 Book retailers

Bookshops
Other booksellers
Total businesses
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%
%

Number of businesses
9.2
10.9
11.0
6.6
8.0
7.9
4.9
6.0
5.9
Number of books sold
5.7
5.8
8.3
1.5
1.5
2.0
3.4
3.4
5.6
Income
Retail sales of new books
4.9
5.2
5.0
2.8
3.0
3.6
3.8
4.0
4.0
Other retail sales
6.4
5.2
3.7
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Other income
8.1
9.7
5.1
0.5
0.3
0.4
0.5
0.3
0.4
Total
4.7
5.0
4.5
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.2
Average income per business
7.8
8.4
8.2
7.0
7.6
7.4
5.1
5.7
5.5
Average sales of
new books per business
7.7
8.3
8.1
6.6
7.3
7.4
5.3
5.6
5.5
Expenses
Purchases of new books
5.1
5.7
5.4
4.9
4.1
5.5
3.9
4.1
4.1
Other expenses
4.7
4.3
3.7
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.1
Total
4.6
5.0
4.4
0.1
0.1
0.1
0.2
0.1
0.1
Average expenses per business
7.9
8.3
8.3
7.0
7.6
7.4
5.1
5.7
5.5
Average purchases of
new books per business
7.9
8.4
8.2
7.7
7.7
8.3
5.4
5.6
5.6

Relative Standard Errors, Table 3.1 Bookshops - Total


2001-02
2002-03
2003-04
%
%
%

Number of businesses
9.2
10.9
11.0
Number of books sold
5.7
5.8
8.3
Income
Retail sales of new books
4.9
5.2
5.0
Other retail sales
6.4
5.2
3.7
Other income
8.1
9.7
5.1
Total
4.7
5.0
4.5
Average income per business
7.8
8.4
8.2
Average sales of new books per business
7.7
8.3
8.1
Expenses
Wages and salaries
4.4
4.7
4.2
Purchases of new books
5.1
5.7
5.4
Other purchases
10.2
4.3
4.2
Royalties and fees
17.7
26.3
21.0
Other expenses
5.1
4.9
3.8
Total
4.6
5.0
4.4
Average expenses per business
7.9
8.3
8.3
Average purchases of new books per business
7.9
8.4
8.2
Inventories
Change in inventory
26.3
58.2
41.8
Ratio of inventories to sales of books
3.1
2.8
2.6
Employment
Males
5.7
5.0
4.5
Females
5.4
5.1
5.0
Persons
4.9
4.7
4.6
Average per business
6.8
7.7
7.7
Other key aggregates
Operating profit before tax
13.3
21.6
25.0
Profit margin
11.9
19.7
23.6
Industry value added
5.3
5.3
4.5
Wages and salaries per employee
2.6
2.7
2.4
Floor space
6.7
6.0
8.0
Retail sales per square metre
6.6
5.3
7.6
Retail locations per business
3.5
4.5
4.3


23 As an example, the estimate of total income for bookshops for 2003-04 is $1,297.0m and the RSE is 4.5%, giving a SE of $58.4m. Therefore, there are 2 chances in 3 that, if all businesses in the population had been included in the survey, a figure in the range of $1,238.6m to $1,355.4m would have been obtained, and 19 chances in 20 ( i.e. a confidence interval of 95%) that the figure would have been within the range of $1,180.2m to $1,413.8m.


24 Although the table above shows the RSEs for only a selection of the statistics presented in this publication, they have been calculated for all of the statistics which rely on data from a sample of businesses and are available on request. Estimates with high RSEs have been marked with asterisks in the tables in which they occur. If an estimate has an RSE between 25% and 50%, it is marked with one asterisk and should be used with caution. If it has an RSE greater than 50%, it is marked with two asterisks and is considered too unreliable for general use.


25 Errors other than those due to sampling may occur because of deficiencies in the coverage of the collection, imperfections in reporting by respondents or non-response. Inaccuracies of this kind are referred to as non-sampling errors and they may occur in any collection, whether it be a census or a sample survey. Every effort is made to reduce non-sampling error to a minimum by careful design and testing of questionnaires, efficient operating procedures and systems, and appropriate methodology.



SUPPRESSION OF DATA

26 Some data have been suppressed to prevent disclosure, either directly or by inference, of information relating to individual businesses. These data have been replaced by the symbol 'n.p.', but are included in totals.



COMPARISON WITH PREVIOUS DATA

27 Care should be taken when comparing figures as it is not correct to assume that a difference between figures is statistically significant. An approximate SE of the difference between two estimates (x-y) may be calculated by the following formula:


Equation: SEequat



REVISIONS TO 2002-03 DATA

28 The data for 2002-03 have been revised to include corrections to figures previously reported by businesses to the ABS. These revisions are reflected in the 2002-03 data presented in tables 2.1 and 3.1.



RELATED PUBLICATIONS

29 ABS publications which may be of interest include:

      Book Retailers, Australia, 2002-03, cat. no. 1371.0
      Book Publishers, Australia, 2003-04, cat. no. 1363.0
      Retail Trade, Australia, June 2005, cat. no. 8501.0
      Retail Industry, Australia, 1998-99, cat. no. 8622.0
      Retail Industry, Australia: Commodity Sales, 1998-99, cat. no. 8624.0.

30 Current publications produced by the ABS are listed in the Catalogue of Publications and Products (cat. no. 1101.0). The catalogue is available from any ABS office or the ABS web site <http://www.abs.gov.au>. The ABS also issues a daily Release Advice on the web site which details products to be released in the week ahead.



ABS DATA AVAILABLE ON REQUEST

31 As well as the statistics included in this and related publications, the ABS may have other relevant data available. Inquiries about such data should be made to the contact person noted in the Inquiries box on the front cover.



ACKNOWLEDGMENT

32 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated. Without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


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