Case Study Abstract

The focus of this case study are the innovative strategies adopted by leading Indian organized book retailing chain – Crossword Bookstores Limited. This case discusses the constant innovations brought about by the bookstore and how it has brought international standards of book retailing to Indian customers.


Table of Contents

  1. Introduction
  2. About the Company
  3. Background Note – A dream of an India-based world-class bookstore
  4. Exhibit I – Most Frequently Visited Book and Music Stores in India
  5. Exhibit II: Achievements and recognitions for Crossword
  6. Crossword – Quick Facts
  7. Crossword – Market Positioning
  8. Crossword Book Retailing Case Study

  9. Exhibit IV – SWOT Analysis of the Indian Book Market
  10. Exhibit V – Book retailing scenario in India
  11. The ‘print then distribute’ model
  12. Driving factors for Market growth in India
  13. Typical Characteristics of the Indian book market in the 80s
  14. Exhibit VI: Journey of Organized Retail in India
  15. Exhibit VII: Population Growth rate and ROI on Retail real estate in India
  16. Exhibit VIII: Typical Bookstore classification in India
  17. Innovations at Crossword
  18. What has shifted shoppers’ loyalties to the up market bookstore?
  19. Crossword – Breaking the rules – Much more than a bookstore
  20. The inaccessible ‘U’ shaped first store
  21. Exhibit IX: Simple innovations at Crossword Stores
  22. Keeping the customers in mind – Understanding buying readers’ psyche
  23. Improving window displays
  24. A welcoming café
  25. Reading tables and chairs
  26. Helping booklovers – ‘Books once sold WILL be taken back’
  27. Crossword Children’s Hour – Book Reading and story-telling sessions
  28. Unique Product Mix
  29. Increasing margins with non-book business category and own private label business
  30. Innovative marketing strategies for book retailing in India
  31. The Crossword Book Award
  32. Exhibit X- Crossword Book Award winners
  33. Shop-in-shop model
  34. Investment in an ERP
  35. Design Innovation – High-and low-impulse sections, Adjacencies
  36. Crossword – Store Formats
  37. Competitor Oxford’s – Store Formats
  38. Exhibit XI: Retailing formats available in India
  39. Summary of Financial Performance of Crossword Bookstores (2007-08)
  40. Competitor Analysis – – Crossword vs. Oxford Bookstore
  41. Crossword – Store Locations in India
  42. List of major book retailing chains in India
  43. Exhibit XII: Book Exports to India from the UK and the USA, 2000–2006
  44. Exhibit XIII: India – Lifestyle, Demographic and economic indicators
  45. Exhibit XIV: India’s income classes (1994-2006)
  46. Exhibit XV: Organized Retail Penetration in India across categories
  47. Popular Book and Author choices in India
  48. Crossword – Best of 2008 list
  49. Overview of the U.S. Bookstore industry
  50. Questions for Discussion
Case Study Keywords: Organized Book Retailing, Crossword, Shopper’s Stop, Landmark, Oxford bookstores, book retailing in India, leading bookstore, retail formats, R Sriram

Case Questions for Discussion

  1. You can’t take books as any other commodity. If every store has the same kind of books, what’s the fun? In this business you have to know how to select books and build customer relationship.” – How did Crossword change the book retailing scene in India? Analyze the growth of Crossword as a world-class book retailer.
  2. Compare and contrast your experience from your visit to a local bookstore to the innovative services being offered by Crossword at its stores. What can Crossword do different to add more value to its customers?

Case Snippets/Updates:

  • Crossword Bookstores Ltd. is a wholly owned subsidiary Company of Shopper’s Stop Ltd – India’s leading department store chain. Crossword has 55 stores across 11 cities in India.
  • In 2006, Businessworld rated Crossword as the 6th Most Respected Retailer in the country
  • In Dec 2009, Crossword launched its 55th store in India. The store, launched in Hyderabad was the 5th one in the city by the leading lifestyle bookstore chain.
  • According to Assocham, an industry chamber, organized retail in India accounts for $9.23 billion (around Rs 42,000 crore). This is around 5% of the overall retail market. This figure will reach $13 billion (approx. Rs 60,375 crore) by 2010.
  • Organized book retail in India: Organized retail has only a 7% share in the approximately Rs 3,000 crore Indian book retail industry. According to Technopak, the contribution of book retail is only about 1% to the overall retail industry and is expected to grow by approximately 15% yearly.