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Report finds bookshops contribute £1.9b to UK economy

In the UK, a new report commissioned by the British Booksellers Association (BA) has found that bookshops contribute an estimated £1.9bn (A$3.12bn) annually to the UK economy, support 46,000 jobs, and contribute £416m (A$683m) in wages and staff costs, reports the Bookseller.

The report, which was conducted by economics consultancy the Centre for Economics and Business Research and will be publicly available in October, also revealed bookshops pay £131m (A$215m) in tax. This equates to 91p per £100 of turnover, which is about 11 times the tax contribution made by online retailer Amazon at 8p per £100 of turnover.

Amazon’s market power and ability to undercut RRPs, business rates, corporate tax, and rising overheads were named by the report as the main threats to the sustainability of bookshops, while the interactivity and unpredictable nature of a bookstore’s physical space and events were seen as a factor that contributes to a bookshop’s success.

BA CEO Tim Godfray said he hopes the report ‘encourages [the UK] Government to act to protect the nation’s bookshops’.

‘Bookshops are making an incredible contribution to the UK … However, this is not sustainable unless decisive action is taken by the Government to protect them from closure. Bookshops are currently closing at a rate of three percent per year, and 275 towns across the UK can expect to lose their bookshop completely due to changes to business rates if nothing is done,’ said Godfray.

Rosamund de la Hey, BA president, said the organisation will use the ‘hard economic evidence’ of the report in its campaign for improved business rates and its representations on unfair competition.


Category: International news