Content of the study:
The book market and bookstores - France

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1.1 Definition and scope of the study

A bookstore is defined as any business whose principal activity is the sale of books. This activity is partly represented by the code APE 47.61Z.  The term "retail sale of books in specialised stores" is not the only one,   supermarkets specialising in the distribution of cultural products should be also considered. Indeed, the large food stores are also players in book sales market  in France.

The bookstore market in France has been in trouble for several years, badly affected by the changes in entertainment habits and leisure activities of the French, but also by the modification of the market structure with the entrance of new actors (e-commerce) and new offer formats .

The more traditional bookstores are thus forced to reinvent themselves and reinvent their value proposition to avoid continuing losing ground to these new players.


1.2 The global book market is driving the bookstore market

The world book market was estimated at *** billion in ****, and is expected to grow at an average annual rate of *.*% over the period ****-****. [***]

The main world markets are the United States (***). The United Kingdom is next, followed by France in *th position in the market rankings by value .

    Breakdown ...

1.3 The weak recovery of French bookstores in 2018

In ****, the cultural sector in France represented *.*% of the country's economy, with an added value of **.* billion euros. [***]

Within this sector, the market for cultural goods (***) represented *.* billion, up *% from **** and up *% from ****. [***]

    Cultural Goods Market France, ****-****, in billions of Euros Source : GFK  

The book sector is the the ...

1.4 Foreign trade analysis

The data below is for the customs code ***. This Customs Code does not, however, include dictionaries and encyclopaedias. 

France's trade balance in the book sector was slightly in deficit in ****, with exports of ***.** million euros and imports of ***.** million euros. The **** conversion rate is thus comparable to past years: between **** and ...


2.1 Reading, a widespread activity among the French

In ****, according to a study conducted by IPSOS for the National Book Center, **% of French people say they are readers. In particular, **% of French people have read at least one novel in the last ** months. Among them, **% claim to read "a lot", **% "moderately" and **% "a little". This share of french readers ...

2.2 Buyer profiles and book buying behaviour

Of the book buyers in ****, **.* million were small buyers (***). Given their inherent characteristics, even if the small buyers are the most numerous category, their impact in terms of book purchases remains quite low: they represent **% of buyers for only *% of volumes sold . On the other hand, big buyers, which represent only ...

2.3 Competition from new forms of entertainment

Time is one of the worst enemies of the development of reading habits in France. Indeed, **% of French people say they don't read more because of lack of time. On average, a French person spends * hours and ** minutes reading, excluding the press, each week (***). [***]

In addition, new types of entertainment are ...

2.4 Cyclical demand

The graph below represents the monthly sales index data for the activity **.**Z (***).The data provided by INSEE show that there is a high seasonalityfor this market. [***]

In fact, there are two periods of high activity each year for bookstores: one in the summer and in september (***).

Monthly Turnover Index France, ...


3.1 Book value chain

Source: ****

3.2 Economic fabric of bookshops in France

The focus here is on activity code **.**Z, or "Retail sale of books in specialized stores" [***]. In ****, **** establishments were registered under this activity code, employing a total of **,*** individuals. Nevertheless, there has been a sharp contraction in both the number of establishments (***), due to the growing economic difficulties encountered by bookstores ...

3.3 Book Distribution Channels in France

There are four main distribution channels for books in France:

The bookshops; The Large Specialised Stores (***), such as Fnac, Cultura or Leclerc Culture; The Food superstores (***); The online retailers.

Bookstores remain the first physical book distribution channel. The share of the retail sector is declining (***). Conversely, Large Specialised Stores have seen ...

3.4 Increasingly fierce competition from e-commerce

In ****, **.* million books were sold in France thourgh the Internet, up *,*% compared to the previous year. [***] This growth in e-commerce has a very strong negative impact on physical distribution channels: according to studies by GFK , **% of the turnover generated by the rise of e-commerce is the result of cannibalisation.


4.1 An increasingly wide range of products

The range of books on offer in France is increasingly wide, particularly in bookshops. Thus, if we look at the number of references sold (***), the number of references available in bookstores has increased by a factor of *.* since **** This growth was driven by the retail segment, where the number of products ...

4.2 The components of the book price

The price of the book is set by the pusblisher in France since the law of ** August **** (***).

According to figures published by the Syndicat National de l'Edition in ****, the largest share of the book price goes to the bookstore (***) with the distributor, the printer and the publisher each receiving **%, **% and **% respectively. ...

4.3 The strengths of bookstores compared to other distribution channels

Despite the difficulties they may encounter, bookstores remain a channel with strong competitive advantage compared to other channels. According to a study by ObSoCo in ****, bookstores benefit from the following advantages :

Practicality and time needed to purchase books ; Pleasure to shop ; Quality of selection of books ; Pleasure of meeting people (***) ; Quality ...

4.4 Supply trends: new bookstore models

Thus, in order to strengthen their attractiveness and face the difficulties encountered, bookstores are innovating and new models are appearing.

The café-library

The name café-library or bookstore-café The term "bookstore" refers to bookstores that diversify their offer to include a café, tea room or small restaurant. There were more ...


5.1 The price of books in France

The price of books in France is set by the law of ** August **** This law, known as the Lang law (***), established the following framework:

The publisher is required to set a retail price which must be shown on the back of the book; The outlet may not sell the book at ...

5.2 The LIR Label

The LIR label (***) is issued by the Ministry of Culture for * years and aims at to value and support the work of independent booksellers .

This offers bookstores the opportunity to :

Promote the label with clients and institutional or private partners; Benefit from an exemption from the CET (***) ; Benefit from more favourable ...

5.3 Taxation

Book taxation

The General Tax Code (***) establishes that works that meet the tax definition of a book are subject to the reduced VAT rate of *.*% .

Taxation of the bookstore

Since ****, all bookstores are exempt from the Contribution Economique Territoriale (***) are concerned, but also the bookshops, provided that they generate at least ...


6.1 Segmentation

The following segmentation is used for the players in the bookstore market:

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Reviews (5)

The performing arts market - France

Publicado en 22/09/2022 by Anais Reteux

Etude généraliste mais très bien réalisée du marché du spectacle vivant dont on trouve assez peu d'analyse aussi complète.

Businesscoot Response:

Merci infiniment Anaïs pour votre retour. Nous sommes ravis d'avoir été à la hauteur de vos attentes!

The holiday rental market - France


I am very satisfied with the contents of the study which will come to enrich my file of request for financing for a project related to the seasonal hiring

The board game market - France

Publicado en 13/01/2022 by Nicolas Silvani - LudoTech

A good overview of the market that doesn't neglect new market developments and at an affordable price. I am interested in a more in-depth study of new trends and players.

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The board game market - France

Publicado en 15/12/2021 by Client anonyme - Ce client a souhaité rester anonyme

Very useful

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The board game market - France

Publicado en 14/12/2021 by Client Anonyme - Ce client a souhaité rester anonyme

Etude sérieuse avec de bonnes références.

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