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The UK academic market is seemingly buoyant with significant increases in both HE and FE student participation rates and continuing growth in post-qualification vocational study ("lifelong learning").

However, the sector is undergoing dramatic changes and many evolving commercial factors are creating new challenges for both academic booksellers and publishers:

  • retail and publisher consolidation
  • supply chain efficiency
  • access to buyers
  • the role of head office
  • the role of the bookshop manager and buyer
  • the role of the sales representative

There are a number of other key issues specific to academic and specialist publishing:

  • the growing importance of the adoptions market reflecting the overall pressure on student and library finances and the explosion in ("free") online information sources, particularly for secondary materials
  • the increasing need for additional trade promotion and direct marketing to the end customer to drive "sell through" of non-textbook titles
  • the continuing pressure on publishers' margins as bookseller consolidation increases the buying power of the major chains
  • the increased focus on (higher margin) discretionary sales as booksellers look to drive up their gross margins
  • the challenges and opportunities offered by the increase in central promotions and the introduction of core stock initiatives across all the major chains
  • the increasing emergence of new online and digital learning materials

    Compass Academic has a flexible business model and we are continually reviewing our operations in response to this rapidly changing market environment to ensure that our services remain effective and appropriate for all our client publishers.