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Retail and Wholesale of Books and Stationery in South Africa 2023

Pila Rulashe | South Africa | 30 October 2023

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Report coverage

This report focuses on the manufacture, publishing, distribution and sale of books and stationery across the educational, academic and trade subsectors. It includes information on the size and state of the industry, notable players, corporate actions, competition and barriers to entry. There are profiles of 52 companies including major players such as Bidvest, Media 24 and Caxton and CTP, international companies with a presence in South Africa including Oxford University Press and Macmillan South Africa, and local booksellers and stationery stores such as Exclusive Books, Book Lounge, Love Books, PNA and major supermarket groups.

Report coverage

This report focuses on the manufacture, publishing, distribution and sale of books and stationery across the educational, academic and trade subsectors. It includes information on the size and state of the industry, notable players, corporate actions, competition and barriers to entry. There are profiles of 52 companies including major players such as Bidvest, Media 24 and Caxton and CTP, international companies with a presence in South Africa including Oxford University Press and Macmillan South Africa, and local booksellers and stationery stores such as Exclusive Books, Book Lounge, Love Books, PNA and major supermarket groups.

Introduction

• There are between 150 and 200 publishers, an estimated 1,600 bookshops, around 500 used book stores, 750 stationery wholesalers and 1,547 stationery retailers.
• The education subsector accounts for 60% of publishing industry revenue, exposing the industry to government’s budgetary constraints, where expenditure on materials has declined in real terms.
• Poor educational outcomes, high learner dropouts, poor funding of libraries and unaffordable book prices combine to produce low levels of reading.
• Newspaper and magazine circulation numbers have dropped over time, forcing publishers to produce fewer titles.

Trends

• Apart from newspapers, journals and periodicals and calendars, South Africa continues to be a net importer of printed material.
• National or regional bookseller chains and state and provincial departments are the dominant sales channels for the educational segment.
• Sales have been on a downward trajectory since 2013. The sales of R16.5bn in 2022 were slightly below pre-pandemic sales.
• The educational segment forms the core of the book publishing sector, accounting for around 60% of total revenue.

Opportunities

• Growing the number of published indigenous language books.
• Leverage South Africa’s positive trade balance in newspapers, journals and periodicals and calendars and stationery products like envelopes, postcards and registers, account books and note books.
• The Copyright Amendment Bill to possibly improve power relationships between literary creators and publishers.

Challenges

• Input costs for publishers and stationery manufacturers are increasing but the education budget and consumer spending are under pressure.
• Lack of national policies, strategies, direct funding and/or incentives from government to grow the publishing sector.
• Lack of transformation in the publishing industry.
• Poor levels of reading competency create a structural impediment to a reading culture.
• The Copyright Amendment Bill may reduce private investment in the sector due to loss of control over copyrights.
• Weak procurement management systems in certain provinces leading to delayed deliveries.

Outlook

• Book revenue is expected to plateau from 2023 to 2026 and decline slightly in 2027.
• The low current and forecast GDP growth will constrain the extent to which consumers, business and government can increase expenditure on books and stationery.
• The educational sector will continue to be the largest market for the publishing industry, and provincial governments need to improve procurement management and delivery, especially, in rural areas.
• Continued low economic growth, high unemployment and the cost of living will put pressure on discretionary spend and limit publisher revenue growth.
• Government support, more efficient spending to grow the diversity of authors and languages, and improving libraries may help to increase interest in reading.

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Retail and Wholesale of Books and Stationery in South Africa 2023

Full Report

R 20 000.00(ZAR) estimated $1046.67 (USD)*

Industry Landscape

R 14 000.00(ZAR) estimated $ 732.67 (USD)*

Table of Contents

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PAGE
1. INTRODUCTION 1
2. DESCRIPTION OF THE INDUSTRY 2
2.1. Industry Value Chain 3
2.2. Geographic Position 5
2.3. Size of the Industry 7
3. LOCAL 12
3.1. State of the Industry 12
3.2. Key Trends 18
3.3. Key Issues 18
3.4. Notable Players 18
3.5. Trade 20
3.6. Corporate Actions 24
3.7. Regulations 25
3.8. Enterprise Development and Social Development 26
4. AFRICA 27
5. INTERNATIONAL 31
6. INFLUENCING FACTORS 36
6.1. Economic Environment 36
6.2. Labour 37
6.3. Environmental Issues 39
6.4. Technology, R&D, Innovation 40
6.5. Government Support 41
6.6. Input Costs 41
7. COMPETITIVE ENVIRONMENT 42
7.1. Competition 42
7.2. Ownership Structure of the Industry 43
7.3. Barriers to Entry 44
8. INDUSTRY SUMMARY 44
9. OUTLOOK 45
10. INDUSTRY ASSOCIATIONS 46
11. REFERENCES 46
11.1. Publications 46
11.2. Websites 47
APPENDIX 1 48
Summary of Notable Players 48
COMPANY PROFILES 56
Africa Online Retail (Pty) Ltd 56
Amazon.com Inc 58
BIC (South Africa) (RF) (Pty) Ltd 62
Bidvest Branded Products Holdings (Pty) Ltd 64
BK Ink CC 67
Book Lounge CC 69
Books Magazines and Stationery CC 70
Booksite (Pty) Ltd 75
Bridge Books CC 77
C Roelofse 78
C Thompson 79
Caxton and CTP Publishers and Printers Ltd 81
Christelike Uitgewersmaatskappy (Pty) Ltd 86
DJFT (Pty) Ltd 89
Estoril Books and Stationers (Fourways) (Pty) Ltd 91
Evera Publishing (Pty) Ltd 93
Exclusive Books Group (Pty) Ltd 95
Executive Information Services CC 99
Fogarty's Bookshop CC 101
Forms Media Independent (Africa) (Pty) Ltd 102
Freedom Stationery (Pty) Ltd 104
Hargraves Library Service (Pty) Ltd 106
Interstat Stationery (Pty) Ltd 108
Juta and Company (Pty) Ltd 110
KND Trade CC 113
Lormik CC 114
Love Books (Pty) Ltd 115
Macmillan South Africa (Pty) Ltd 116
Massmart Holdings Ltd 119
Media24 (Pty) Ltd 124
Melbro Retail (Pty) Ltd 131
Mind Matters Educational Book Distributers CC 134
National Stationery (Pty) Ltd 135
Office National Africa (Pty) Ltd 137
Oxford University Press Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd 139
Penguin Random House South Africa (Pty) Ltd 142
Peters Papers (Pty) Ltd 144
Pick n Pay Stores Ltd 146
PNA Stationers (Pty) Ltd 151
Prima Toy and Leisure Trading (Pty) Ltd 155
Procure Trade (Pty) Ltd 157
RNA Retail Group (Pty) Ltd 159
Shalmay Fakie Group CC 160
Shoprite Holdings Ltd 161
SPAR Group Ltd (The) 166
Takealot Online (RF) (Pty) Ltd 171
Tasmaya Wholesalers CC 176
Van Schaik Bookstore (Pty) Ltd 178
Van's Office Supplies (Eastern Cape) CC 182
Virtual Bookshelf CC 183
West Pack Life Style (Pty) Ltd 184
Wordsworth Books CC 186