The bookstores fight back

Zhang Ningning
Ideas were exchanged at The Super Bookstore — China Physical Bookstore Innovation and Development Conference on how to compete with online retailers.
Zhang Ningning

How do bookstores compete against online book retailers?

On Thursday representatives of bookstores from all over the country gathered in Shanghai to discuss their options. The booksellers exchanged their experiences of trying to  win back readers.

The Super Bookstore — China Physical Bookstore Innovation and Development Conference was part of the city’s book fair.

China’s book retailing market rose 12.3 percent last year from 2015, but for the first time online sales surpassed  bookstore sales.

During the conference, Anhui Xinhua Distribution Group shared its experience in operating a shared bookstore — which allows users to rent books instead of buying them — in Hefei, capital of Anhui province.

The enterprise had attracted nearly 60,000 readers a week on average, said the  group, adding its revenue had increased 6 percent as a result.

Other representatives also shared their experiences in running 24-hour "smart bookstores" or integrating bookstores into local communities

Shanghai’s Xinhua Book Store, the largest bookstore chain in the city, also plans to renovate two existing bookstores and launch a new one in local shopping malls, to attract  readers with a modern design, more reading events and better service.

Special Reports