The fates may have spared the Delamain bookstore last year, but official data suggest that bookstores in Paris are undergoing a mass extinction. The city government of Paris requested the Atelier Parisien d'Urbanisme to present its findings on how businesses changed in the city between 2011 and 2014, and the decrease in bookstores not only continued but accelerated. Cassandre Dupuis reports (Paris a perdu 83 librairies depuis 2011, March 13) for Le Figaro (my translation):
The census took account of more than 62,000 businesses in the capital, a spectacular density by comparison to London and other large cities in the provinces. At the heart of this increase, though, the evolution is full of contrasts. One notes a certain stagnation of leisure businesses. According to the report, the decrease in bookstores, newspaper stands, and photography businesses is even higher than the preceding period of 2007 to 2011. In effect, the number of bookstores has fallen by ten percent, with the closing of 83 stores.The map printed with the article shows 675 bookstores that remained in business, 81 newly created, and 164 gone out of business. Happily, a bright cluster of bookstores still shines in the Latin Quarter.
This large decrease is explained in part by the impact of online sales, the report explains, even if it is difficult to evaluate the real influence of the Internet. The location of these bookstores is also an important factor, and all Parisian arrondissements are not affected in the same way. The 5th and 6th arrondissements still benefit from a special protection.