Waterstone’s and WH Smith are the biggest individual booksellers by penetration in 2007, although WH Smith lost five percentage points between 2005 and 2007 as it strived to recover its margins. This shows that most consumers still head for a bookshop when they wish to buy a book. http://www.whsmith.co.uk/
Younger book buyers also prefer specialist bookshops, though at a lower penetration than third-age consumers. Those in the no family group particularly like to buy books at Amazon, but not so much eBay. They are less likely to use supermarkets or second-hand sources.
Amazon captures over a fifth of consumers as book buyers. This was the same proportion as second-hand bookshops and charity shops, which showed the highest growth in penetration between 2005 and 2007.
Tesco and Asda achieve the highest penetration among the supermarkets, by offering low-priced ranges of mainly chart paperbacks and children’s books.
Supermarkets tend to attract those in the family lifestage and with young children. These shoppers are likely to be more time-pressed than third agers, and to value the convenience of buying books with the weekly shop
Asda achieved the highest level of book buying among its grocery shoppers (30%), followed by Tesco (28%) and Sainsbury’s (14%). This reflects the relative development of their non-food offers.
The success of supermarkets may explain a significant loss of book penetration at Woolworths in the past two years.
(MINTEL 2009 - http://academic.mintel.com/sinatra/oxygen_academic//display/&id=232500/display/id=291658)