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The total books, music and gift retail industry in India is currently estimated at Rs.11,500 crore (Rs.13,300 crore at current prices), out of which the share of organised books, music and gift retail is 12.6 per cent, says the India Retail Report 2007.

Super bookstore and leisure retailing chains like Oxford, Landmark and Crossword have changed the concept of the traditional Indian bookstore format with average store sizes ranging from 1,500 to 2,000 sq.ft and above.

However, despite the growth in retail space, the publishing industry continues to feel that the number of bookshops in the country is not enough to meet the demand. While these super chains have a retail presence in the top seven or eight cities, most of India is still woefully underserved where leisure retailing is concerned.

Buoyancy in the book and music business reflects the country’s growing prosperity, as well as the gradual expansion of leisure retail outlets across the nation.

Says Ajay Mehra, CEO, Planet M: “Music & Home Entertainment retail chains have catalyzed the move towards ‘Organised’ retail for over seven years now. Over 30% of the music & home entertainment business is already through organised retail formats vis-à-vis 3% in other categories – that too without loss to the petty vendor. Organised music retail has been generating increased employment opportunities across all levels of work force.”

“However, the single largest & most potent impediment to the growth of music and home entertainment industry has been Piracy. The impact of piracy today is visible to a greater extent in the home video space. Organised retail, on its part, has been instrumental in controlling piracy and reducing consequential revenue loss to the government.

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