Crossword Bookstores Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of retail giant Shoppers Stop, is eyeing a 15 per cent share of the organised music/book market in the country by 2009. The book and music market, currently valued at Rs 1,500 crore, is estimated to be growing at 15 per cent annually. Crossword, a brand of Shoppers Stops speciality division, currently has 37 stores and plans to take this number to 45 by the year-end and 100 in another three years, according to Mr Aniyan Nair, Operations and Marketing-Facilitator, Crossword Bookstores Ltd.
Commenting on the reading habits of urban Indians, Mr Nair said that last fiscal, books had contributed 55 per cent to the divisions turnover (March 2006), which was around Rs 80 crore. Out of this, childrens books contributed 36 per cent by volume and 27 per cent by value. In the next three years, Crossword plans to open 100 stores, which would be a mix of franchised, and company-owned stores, he said. The bookstore is present in three retail formats across the country: flagship, brand stores and corner stores. Crossword has also tied up with Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Ltd to launch bookstores in HPCL outlets, four of which are already operational in Mumbai.