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Impact of the coronavirus pandemic on book sales in Sweden 2020, by channel

What impact has the coronavirus pandemic on the Swedish book market? Total book sales in Sweden significantly declined from mid-March to the end April 2020. The revenue dropped by nearly 20 million Swedish kronor within this period. From May on, the market seemed to slowly recover, despite the renewed decline of sales of roughly 25 percent in week 21 compared to the same time range of the previous year. In the last week of May and the beginning of June, the total book market in Sweden recorded a considerable growth, primarily due to the increase of online sales.

Which book distribution channel measured the highest decline during COVID-19?

Physical book shops recorded the highest decline in book sales revenue in Sweden during the coronavirus outbreak. From June 1 to 7, 2020, sales through this channel fell by 27 percent compared to week 23 of 2019. By comparison, retailers occasionally showed small growths in the period from mid-March to the beginning of June. Revenue generated by online shops even increased in most weeks.

Which channel generated the highest revenue overall in the past years?

In general, buying books via the internet became increasingly popular in the past. In 2019, online bookstores held the highest market share in revenue, before physical bookstores. Furthermore, digital subscription services increased their sales revenue, from roughly 676 million Swedish kronor in 2018 to over 920 million kronor as of 2019. Besides, book publishers generated the highest value through digital resellers in 2019.

Year-over-year change in book sales revenue in Sweden from weeks 11 to 23, 2020, by distribution channel

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period

Week 11-23, 2020

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