Russia sees a wave of bookstore closures

Many Russian bookstores have not survived the pandemic. According to a joint study by the Russian Book Union, the Publishers Association of Russia, the Association of Book Distributors of Independent States and the Knizhnaya Industriya magazine, 40% of bookstores never reopened after the lockdown.

The remaining ones have not restocked their goods for two or even three months, according to a survey of 180 companies operating in the book industry.

Book publishers were earlier included in the list of industries most affected by the crisis. As such, they are entitled to state support, but are effectively unable to actually receive the money – every fifth company surveyed said the state has not provided any subsidies to them.

A number of large bookstore chains were not even included in the list of backbone companies, including Rosman, Moscow House of Books, and Biblio-Globus, Kommersant business daily writes.

The Russian book industry has been losing 70% of its revenue every month since March because the stores had to remain closed. Experts predict that by the end of 2020, the book market will shrink by a quarter.

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