Nielsen Book this morning hosted a free webinar to review the impact of COVID-19 and lockdown on the UK and Irish book markets.
Some highlights for the Irish market are outlined below.
5 genres experienced growth YTD vs same period in 2019:
- Food and Drink +33%, with YTD spending in 2020 up to 2.8M vs €2.1 (2019).
- Leisure and Lifestyle +37%
- Personal Development +11% – helped by Mrs Hinch books and Gaff Goddess.
- Children’s +15%
- Fiction General +9%
5 genres with declined sales YTD vs same period in 2019:
- Travel, Maps -56%
- School Textbooks -40%
- History/Military -29%
- Biography/Autobiography -17%
- Genre Fiction -6%
Best and worst case scenarios for 2020…
In Q1 2020, pre-lockdown sales in Ireland were showing impressive growth up 8% on 2019, and with Adult Fiction up 19% (Week 1-12). Within 2 weeks of lockdown the positive growth of Q1 was wiped out as physical bookshops closed across the country. However latest reports suggest that the Irish market has returned to almost similar levels of Q1 2020 with 6% growth for weeks 24-27 (post lockdown).
Speaking specifically on the Irish Book Sector, analyst Philip Stone predicts that if spending and consumer behaviour continues to maintain the pre-lockdown levels, there is a chance that 2020 sales will finish on a positive (potentially up to 4% growth on 2019). However there are a number of key factors such as a recession, supply chain disruption and a second spike in Corona Virus which could result in up to -7% loss for 2020.