Orell Füssli increases sales and expands branch network

The book trade has reason to rejoice: people are apparently returning to the stores after the pandemic, Orell Füssli's new figures show.

Image: Nik Spoerri.

The Orell Füssli industrial and commercial group achieved a clear increase in book retailing sales in 2022. Orell Füssli Thalia Ltd, in which the Group holds a 50 per cent stake, generated CHF 224 million. This is 9 percent more than in the previous year.

For the Orell Füssli Group, this means a sales contribution of CHF 112 million to the total of CHF 217 million generated in 2022, the company announced. By contrast, the Group recorded declining sales in the security printing segment - where it prints Swiss banknotes - and in the industrial segment.

Consumers return to bookstores

It is therefore thanks to book retailing that Orell Füssli was able to generate more sales in 2022. According to the data, sales in the stationary trade in 2022 almost returned to the level seen before the pandemic. The Group had not assumed that people would visit bookstores so much again after two pandemic years. It was feared that many had become accustomed to shopping over the Internet during the pandemic and would continue to do so after Corona.

Online boom after Corona continues unabated

At the same time, sales via online channels have hardly slowed down after two booming Corona years. The online business is therefore to be further developed. In response to trends towards digital reading and hybrid reading habits, Orell Füssli has been cooperating with the e-book supplier Skoobe since 2022. Orell Füssli customers can thus access more than 400,000 e-books and several 10,000 audiobooks at a fixed monthly price, it says.

More bookstores

But stationary retailing is also to be expanded further. Last year Orell Füssli expanded its branch network by three stores in Lucerne, Wil and Kriens. In the current year, the fiftieth store was added in Solothurn. In the next three to five years, the Group intends to expand its branch network to 60 stores. Not least, this is also about customer loyalty. Overall, the Group is thus pursuing an omni-channel strategy, i.e. dovetailing online retailing and bookstores.

Orell Füssli also intends to make gains in the field of education. In the current year, for example, thanks to an agreement concluded with the ETH in 2022, its sales branches will be managed by Orell Füssli at the two Zurich locations. An important contribution to sales in 2022 was also made by the acquired teaching materials publisher Hep. (sda)

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