The Booksellers Association of the United Kingdom & Ireland Limited

Book Buyers Look to Shop Local this Christmas

Book Buyers Look to Shop Local this Christmas, as BA Survey Shines Light on Consumer Shopping Plans

The Booksellers Association (BA) has today announced the results of its recent consumer survey, revealing strong public support for shopping local this Christmas, as well as an earlier start to festive buying, and an increased number reading during the pandemic.
The survey looked at the public’s plans for shopping this festive period, as well as how the pandemic, and consequent restrictions and safety measures, had impacted their relationship with reading and bookshops. Results indicated increased support for the high street, with 96 per cent of those surveyed noting their intention to shop locally this Christmas, rather than online, in an effort to bolster local businesses. The festive shopping season is also likely to start sooner than usual this year, with nearly 60 per cent of consumers surveyed planning to start their Christmas present buying earlier than in previous years.
Questions in the survey also sought to discover how the pandemic had affected the public’s reading habits and attitude to shopping bookshops as they reopen. Those surveyed reported that the pandemic and lockdown had actually had a positive impact on their reading, with three quartersof responses confirming that they have been reading more books than normal during the past six months. The results also pointed to a marked confidence among the public when it comes to visiting bookshops, with 96 per cent of those surveyed agreeing that their local bookshop provided a safe shopping environment.
Meryl Halls, Managing Director at The Booksellers Association said: “There is no denying that it has been a difficult year for booksellers and the high street more widely, but it is heartening to see the responses from our consumer survey pointing to ongoing public support for local bookshops going into the crucial festive period. With many booksellers impacted by regional restrictions, and others still recovering from the national lockdown, it is more important than ever that people continue to choose bookshops and allow booksellers to continue the vital work they do in their communities.