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Bookstores Around The World Are Flourishing Again

It's good news for both independent stores and the well-known book store chains.

Indie book shop in Edinburgh
An independent bookstore in Edinburgh.

Barnes & Noble opened 31 stores last year "which is actually more stores than we opened in the past 10 years combined,” Janine Flanigan, Senior Director of Store Planning and Design with Barnes & Noble, told WOWT News 6, Omaha. “This year we’re looking to open somewhere between 50 to 60 new stores.”

This comes after years of major bookstores shutting down locations across the national and local landscape. Then, internationally, the Covid pandemic sparked a major plot twist - people started reading (lots of) books again, and booming book sales that sparked into life during the pandemic have, happily, carried on into the post-pandemic world.

The good news is that it’s not just the major chains like Barnes & Noble that are flourishing, as the US book sales market continues to both grow and diversify, the majority of the retail book market is controlled by small indie stores.

According to the latest research by GVR, this heartening trend isn't just confined to the US, but continues around the world, with half of all retail book sales, whether in Germany, India, or Britain, coming from local bookshops.

GVR says the global books market size was valued at $144.67 billion in 2023. The Mystery genre led the market and accounted for nearly 17 percent of global revenues last year. Looking ahead, GVR forecast that global book sales will grow at a compound annual growth rate of 1.8 percent from 2024 to 2030.


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