This report provides a comprehensive overview of the state of the books and stationery industry, factors influencing their success, challenges, and changing trends influenced by technological advances. It includes comprehensive profiles of 42 companies in the books and stationery sector including major booksellers like Exclusive Books and increasingly successful independent booksellers including The Book Lounge and Love Books, as well as online sellers such as Takealot. It profiles players in the stationery sector including CNA and RNA Stationers and dominant wholesalers Silveray and Waltons.
Wholesale and Retail Trade of Books and Stationery
This report focuses on the wholesale and retail trade of reading matter and stationery. Sales of books, newspapers and stationery account for 3.1% of overall retail sales, and this sector is dominated by educational books. The market for books, news, and stationery is expected to record revenue of R39.3bn in 2019.
State of The Industry
Unit sales of books declined by 7% in 2017 as poor economic conditions affected disposable income, a trend which has continued in 2018. The rand’s decline will result in further increases in the cost of imported books while cost pressures are mounting for local publishers. South Africa remains relatively unaffected by the international shift to e-books. Educational books account for 75% of book sales and production in this sector is almost entirely local, and predominantly paper-baed. The market for South African fiction remains relatively tiny, and most of that market is for Afrikaans fiction. While digitisation has resulted in reduced demand for paper-based products, it has also expanded the scope of the stationery suppliers industry with products like printing cartridges, printing paper and labels.