At the beginning of January the German publishers and booksellers association published statistics which see stationary book trade as remaining a successful distribution channel. Turnover may have sunk by 1.2 percent in stationary trade in comparison to the year before, but shoulders were still being patted, digitalisation has worked and the people are even still coming to the shops. The fact that Thalia gave up a total of 9000 square metres of shop space in the end and Weltbild registered for bankruptcy doesn’t bother anyone any more.
Crisis survived, now off into a rosy future…no? While stationary book shops have had a turnover slump of 1.2 percent, the annual results for all sales channels – stationary book trade, train station book trade, e-commerce and warehouse/department stores – fell by 2.1 percent in total. The reason: a strong year 2012 and the late Easter. No one is daring a prognosis for the next years yet. So what does the future hold for book trade?