Bookstore Business Plan Template [Updated 2024]

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V.Competitive Analysis

You can download our Business Plan Template (including a full, customizable financial model) to your computer here.

Direct & Indirect Competitors

The following book stores are located within a 10 mile radius of [Company Name], thus providing either direct or indirect competition for customers:

Barnes & Noble Inc.

Barnes & Noble (B&N) is the leading book retailer in the United States, with over 640 stores across all 50 states and Washington, DC. The company offers trade books, paperbacks, e-books, e-readers, magazines, newspapers and other content across its distribution platform, which includes general retail book stores and an e-commerce website. Barnes & Noble also owns Sterling Publishing, a leading publisher of nonfiction books.

After spinning off its college bookstore segment in 2015, the company currently operates through its retail and NOOK segments. Its retail segment consists of both its 640 brick-and-mortar stores and the company’s website, The website is one of the internet’s largest e-commerce sites, generating an estimated $886.0 million in 2015. The company’s NOOK segment includes the sale of the NOOK e-reader and revenue generated from e-books and other digital media through the company’s mobile platform. While the company’s retail segment accounts for an overwhelming majority of company revenue, the NOOK segment is used to compete with Amazon’s kindle platform.


Founded in 1917, Books-A-Million is one of the leading chain book retailer in the United States. The company employs 5,500 full-time and part-time workers across its 250 locations. The retailer operates primarily in the Southeast United States through its traditional store and superstore formats. The company’s traditional stores are smaller in size and are often located in enclosed malls. Books-A-Million’s super stores, conversely, are standalone facilities that are larger in size and offer space for browsing, reading, shopping and various promotional events. Over the past five years, Books-A-Million has opened, closed and relocated a variety of stores to rescue struggling profit margins. Additionally, the company increasingly promotes its “Millionaire’s Club” loyalty program to attract repeat customers. These various restructuring attempts have caused the company’s revenue to fluctuate over the past five years. In 2016, company sales are expected to reach $452.9 million.

Powell’s Books

Founded in 1971 in Portland, OR, Powell’s Books is one of the top independent booksellers in the United States. The company revolutionized the bookselling industry by offering both new and used hardcover and paperback titles on the same shelf. The store is immensely popular with both the local community and visiting patrons. With a selection of books in over 120 subject areas and 3,500 subsections, the store offers an expansive array of both bestselling authors along with less common niche titles. In 1994, the company launched its e-commerce site, and, within two years, its entire collection was available for purchase online. Contrary to the overall trend of the industry, this small company has thrived over the past five years.

Competitive Advantage

[Company Name] enjoys several advantages over its competitors. These advantages include:

  • Book Lover Focus: [Company Name] will focus solely on book lovers, which is a fast growing market segment by revenue. By focusing on book lovers, vs. the mass market, we are able to provide a personalized, meaningful shopping experience.
  • Management: Our management team has years of book retail experience that allows us to sell to and serve customers in a much more sophisticated manner than our competitors.
  • Relationships: Having lived in the community for 25 years, [Founder’s Name] knows all of the local leaders and newspapers, as well as suppliers. As such, it will be relatively easy for us to build branding and awareness of our store.
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