South Asians less likely to use chains

<p>Asians in Britain are less likely to use chain stores than the white population, partly because they struggle to find books there that relate to them. <br /><br />This one of the key findings of a major research programme into the South Asian market, conducted by BML on behalf of the DSC South Asian Literary Festival, and sponsored by <em>The Bookseller.</em><br /><br />Whereas 71% of the white population will go to Waterstone&#39;s to buy books, only 51% of South Asians will; the figures for WH Smith are 42% and 27% respectively. The supermarket gap is the greatest, at 50% v 22%. Both groups are equally happy to use independent book shops, at 43%. </p><p>Only 2% of South Asian respondents to the survey (238 out of 1881 in total) felt there was<br />sufficient provision of books with South Asian themes and influences in stores.<br /><br />The survey has also uncovered significant differences in the reading tastes of the two groups. Crime, a key mass-market genre, is liked by 75% of whites but only 33% of South Asians; historical fiction showed a similar disparity, liked by 56% of whites compared to 39% of South Asians. South Asians were far more interested in non-fiction, with genre preferences of 52% for<br />religious/spiritual books and 43% self-help, a level of interest in both cases four times that of their white counterparts.<br /><br />Waterstone&#39;s boss Dominic Myers has asked to see a full copy of the research; he is known to have an interest in the area after he spent time in India researching a possible HMV venture in the country.<br /><br />Speaking at the unveiling of the research at the Free Word Centre in Farringdon, co-organisers of the SALF Jon Slack and Bhavit Mehta revealed it will return for a second year next October, with three separate weeks of events in central London, outer London and nationally.<br /><br />A full report on the survey is in <a href="../in-depth/feature/136096-an-untapped-market.html" target="_blank">today&#39;s edition</a> of <em>The Bookseller</em>. <br /><br /> </p>