By Siobhan O’Leary
According to the latest consumer survey conducted by the Gesellschaft für Konsumforschung (GfK), consumer confidence is on the rise in Germany and booksellers in particular have reason to be optimistic about this year’s holiday shopping season.
In an interview with GfK director Wolfgang Adlwarth, the Börsenblatt explored some of the implications of the survey for German publishers.
The results revealed that 40% of Germans are planning to buy books for their loved ones this holiday season. Adlwarth was pleasantly surprised by the results and estimates that Germans could shell out as much as a billion euros on books as gifts this year (the survey revealed that individuals are planning to spend an average of €38 on books as holiday gifts). In fact, no other product category in the survey fared as well as books did. Adlwarth is hopeful that this will lead to a good or even very good holiday season for Germany’s publishing industry.
However, the GfK’s research has shown that the book market is generally not affected tremendously by external factors like consumer confidence or the state of the economy — what matters more to German consumers when it comes to buying books is selection. And bestsellers are becoming more important to shoppers than ever before.
Though the survey did not include e-books or e-readers, Adlwarth does not expect either to make a huge splash this holiday season, but rather to continue at a slow but steady pace of growth.