Comics readers save book stores (in France)
A recent study by market researchers GFK has proven that, while most book stores still treat comics and graphic novels as something of a rarity, barely fit for a separate shelf, their buyers largely keep book stores alive, at least in France. This was reported by the French magazine Livres Hebdo on their Twitter feed.
The study shows that people who predominantly shop for comics and mangas, make up 15,5% of the French population (compared to 56% total for all book buyers). They are about forty years of age on average, and half of them are women (or, half of them are men, I guess, depending how you look at it).
97% of the people who predominantly buy comics, also buy other books (76% also buy general literature or youth literature). They typically buy nineteen books (of which five are comics titles), compared to fourteen titles for a typical “general literature” buyer (only the children’s books do better, with twenty titles).
Comics buyers spend the largest part of their budget on books, and often prefer independent book stores. They typically know very well what they’re after, but are also quite easily persuaded to buy additional titles if they are endorsed by book store staff through the power of personal recommendations from knowledgeable booksellers.
For France it’s pretty clear: comics readers are the future of book sellers. And they would do good to make sure they offer a wide selection of comics and graphic novels, in fiction or non-fiction.
Now I’m wondering what the status is in the UK…