Book sellers consist of independent book stores in which there are thousands, big box retailers like Chapters and Indigo in Canada and Barnes & Noble, Borders and Books-A-Million in the US which hold about 30% of market share and the Online retail market which Amazon leads the way.
According to the Department of Canadian Heritage, by early 2000, there were 4,298 independent bookstores in Canada. There are, however, some wide variations in the criteria used for counting bookstores in Canada.61 These stores were open for business alongside 70 Chapters superstores, 261 “traditional” stores in the Chapters chain, 14 Indigo superstores, and 25 stores in the Renaud-Bray chain in Quebec. These stores were also in competition with campus bookstores, book clubs and non-traditional book retailers such as Costco, Wal-Mart, and large regional grocery chains.
According to a 1994 study prepared for the creation of Chapters, in 1991, 54% of book buying took place in bookstores, 16% from book clubs, 8% in second-hand bookstores, 4% each from mail order, supermarkets and drug stores.
The sale of books on the Internet is booming; last year, Internet sales represented about 2% of sales in Canada (about 4.5% in the U.S.), but sales are growing rapidly and some experts forecast that the Internet may eventually represent 20% of book sales.