German book market down 2.3% in value
The German book market was down 2.3% in value and 5.3% in volume in 2020, reports the Bookseller.
The market was hit by two Covid lockdowns, the second of which began during the height of the Christmas season in mid-December as sales were close to breaking even with 2019. By the end of November, sales were at -1.8% on 2019, up from -14% for the four months to April and -8.3% in the year to June.
Brick-and-mortar bookstores were down 19.6% by value in December, and ended the year with a decline of 8.7%.
Karin Schmidt-Friderichs, head of the German trade association Börsenverein des Deutschen Buchhandels, said that while ‘enthusiasm for reading has been high and demand for books was strong for most of the year’, the mood among the industry today is one of ‘deep anxiety’. Schmidt-Friderichs calls the prospects for publishers and booksellers ‘uncertain’ and expects 2021 to start with a ‘massive’ decline in sales, following the extension of the current lockdown from 10 January to at least the end of the month.
Category: International news