Thalia to expand into travel bookshops

Thalia to expand into travel bookshops

Germany’s largest bookseller Thalia is adding a chain of travel bookshops to its existing portfolio of close to 300 specialist bookshops and the online shop Thalia.de.

The typical shop will be up to 1200 sq ft in size and carry 2,200 titles, the majority of which will be paperbacks. The company is looking at locations in airports, stations and other “highly frequented traffic hubs” in Germany, Switzerland and Austria.

The business, which reported sales of €905.9m (£796m) in its 2009/10 fiscal year, will not operate the new venture on its own. Thalia Pocket Shop is a joint venture with Sweden’s Pocket Shop AB, which owns a chain of 18 shops selling paperbacks and has recently ventured into Finland. Pocket Shop is a highly profitable business with annual sales at around €13m (£11.5m).

Since 2008 Pocket Shop has also gained a toehold in Germany with a small branch in Berlin’s Tegel airport. From the start c.e.o. Per Sjödell had been looking for a partner to introduce his proven concept to the German-speaking market on a larger scale. Pocket Shops are easily recognisable by their vibrant purple lead colour and straight layout. All titles are presented face out, with special emphasis on bestsellers and promotions.

The first branches of Thalia Pocket Shop will open in mid-2012—two in Terminal 1 of Frankfurt Airport and one in the new airport Berlin Brandenburg International scheduled to open in June. Over the next five years Thalia plans to open between 15 and 30 shops in the new format.