Identify Political, Economic, Social, Technological, Environmental and Legal issue that may affect and how the Book retailer industry in the UK.
The rules for competition depend upon the framework that is provided by the government. In this regard, the policy of high discounting which is encouraged by the government is detrimental to the interest of book retailers which are competing against the lights of Amazon and other supermarkets (Jeffries, 2009). Additionally, the interest of the consumers is safeguard by the Office of Fair Trade which ensures that the business practices are fair (Nwagbara, 2011).
There are a plethora of economic issues such as the macroeconomic conditions along with currency exchange rates and inflation that have an impact on the industry. One particularly concerning aspect in the recent times have been the lacklustre growth in economy which tends to adversely impact the demand of the books. Further, this also enhances the competition level in the market as book retailers tend to lower their prices to attract customers (Nwagbara, 2011).
The change in consumer preferences and choices with regards to time is reflected in terms of social factors. One of key social factors is the impact of demographics. The population in UK is increasingly getting older and further for the younger generations there are a plethora of entertainment sources that were not available to the previous generations. As a result, going forward it is expected that the demand for children’s books would be limited while that of academic books should be on the rise as it caters to primarily the old people (Nwagbara, 2011).
The technological factors have completed transformed the retail books industry with increasing incidence of online sales. In this particular context, it is the academic online content that has seen the highest sales growth in the recent time and this pattern is expected to continue going forward. Besides, the sales of digital content with regards to other segments is also on the rise and way to look forward for the industry especially with the penetration of digital gadgets like iPod and iPhone (Moth, 2015).
The environment is increasingly becoming more significant factor for various industries and the retail book industry in UK is not an exception. There is a definitive bend of customers towards e-books with one of the contributory factors being that e-books tend to save paper and hence are environment friendly (Moth, 2015). Also, there is focus on using recycled paper for book printing instead of fresh paper (Nwagbara, 2011).
The legal factors are very crucial for the retail book industry since it is imperative that the counterfeits of the books should be kept to a minimum and thereby ensure that genuine sales are encouraged which encourages the industry and also the writers. In this regard, the stringent copyright laws prevalent in UK would increasingly play a more pivotal role especially because of the enhanced prevalence of online books which can be readily made available through the internet from various other countries which may not have strict intellectual property enforcement rights (Nwagbara, 2011).
Jeffries, S. (2009), How Waterstone’s killed bookselling, Retrieved from Guardian Website on February 14, 2016 http://www.theguardian.com/books/2009/nov/10/waterstones-high-street-bookselling
Moth, D. (2015), UK online retail sales to reach £52.25bn in 2015: report, Retrieved from Econsultancy Website on February 14, 2016 https://econsultancy.com/blog/66007-uk-online-retail-sales-to-reach-52-25bn-in-2015-report/
Nwagbara, U. (2011), Waterstone’s and the Changing Bookselling Environment in the UK: the Journey so far and Prospects, Petroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti BULLETIN, 3(1), 14-26