A couple of years ago the NCCRS highlighted in the Culture and Recreation News that it was planning to conduct a series of four surveys on book retailers as part of the Australian Government's Book Industry Assistance Plan. The ABS recently released the results of the first survey covering the economic activity of book sellers and the number and value of books sold in 2000-01.
Retail sales of new books totalled $1,221m in 2000-01, according to an ABS survey of 1,200 employing businesses. Results from this first detailed survey of book retailers showed that those classified as bookshops were responsible for over three-quarters ($934m) of the value of new book sales. The remaining book sales were divided among department stores ($148m), newsagents ($129m), supermarkets ($6m) and other retailers ($4m).
Over 70 million new books were sold by book retailers to the public, with bookshops accounting for almost 60% (42 million books) of sales. A further 23% (16 million) of books were sold by department stores and 13% (9 million) by newsagents.
The publication also includes data relating to the relative importance of new book sales to the overall operations of businesses for the different types of book retailers, and details about sources of income and expenditure. Another collection of data will be undertaken for 2001-02, to be published later this year.
Main features of Book Retailers, Australia, 2000-01 are available free of charge on this site.