Reading, Back in Vogue

Children, the Future Market

Last year added 19,800 new titles to its children’s booklist, marking a 14 percent growth. Dangdang CEO Li Guoqing predicts that sales in this category could soon double, under the strong momentum of digital books.

“Despite slowing growth for book sales in general online and off, last year children’s books maintained a robust growth of 6.65 percent, outperforming all other categories,” says Jiang Yanping, general manager of OpenBook, a sales monitoring service provider for Chinese books.

“The children’s book market has huge room for further growth, which conventional stores like Xinhua can tap into,” Lü Cunzhou, deputy general manager of the Zhejiang Xinhua Bookstore Group predicted. “Children’s publications are top profit makers for conventional bookstores. The overall daily gross profit produced for every square meter of our retail space is RMB 7.9, but that from children’s books stands at RMB 20.”

The strong surge in the children’s publication market is attributed to accelerated efforts by government, private organizations and individual citizens to promote reading among the younger generation.

Wang Yuan, head of children’s publications at the Anhui Xinhua Bookstore Group, believes Chinese people born in the 1970s and 1980s are better educated than previous generations, and therefore pay greater attention to nurturing their children, which fuels development of children’s book market. “Every weekend many parents bring their children to bookstores – the real ones. Those with a physical presence have bigger stocks than their virtual counterparts, and what’s more, offer an enticing atmosphere for reading. When kids see stuff in print, they are more likely to open it and read it.”


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