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Canadian Heritage’s state of the (bookselling) nation

Last year, the Department of Canadian Heritage commisioned a report entitled The Book Retail Sector in Canada, which was releases late last month. (You can read the whole report here.)

Its key findings probably won’t knock the wind out of anyone familiar with Canadian bookselling and publishing. To wit:

  • The Canadian book retail sector is highly concentrated.
  • New sales channels are emerging.
  • Exchange rates are fuelling imports.
  • The supply of books in the Canadian market is growing much more quickly than is consumer demand.

The report concludes that Canadian bookselling and reading habits are affected by similar changes and forces as in other Western industrialized nations, that Chapters-Indigo dominates to a potentially unhealthy degree, and that “Canada’s book retail sector faces many challenges today, but many opportunities, too.”

(For more on these developments, see Quill & Quire magazine, passim.)