Internet, supermarkets killing off UK's bookshops

Increased competition from the internet, supermarkets, a declining British high street and the credit crunch have combined to force closure of independent bookstores across the UK, reports quoting a study by data company Experian showed.

Figures provided by the Booksellers Association in the UK also showed that 102 independent stores closed between 1999 and 2009, leaving just 1,289.

The rise of internet retailers and the growing popularity of e-readers such as the Amazone Kindle as also heavy discounting by supermarkets have forced nearly 2,000 bookshops close since 2005, the report said.

According to Experian, there were 2,178 high street bookshops left in Britain as of July 2011 compared with 4,000 in 2005. There are around 580 towns in the UK that do not have a single bookshop.

Official figures show that bookshops have been closing at a rate of almost two every week over the past year.

The loss of bookshops combined with possible closure of libraries could lead to "book deserts" across large parts of the country, say analysts.