A Bertelsmann era has ended with the death of a former 700 million Euro business.  It announced the closing of its book club business.  By the end of 2015 all transactions should be converted to e-book subscriptions.  

Bertelsmann severs one of its roots.  Reinhard Mohn (1921-2009), a publisher of bibles, established the “Bertelsmann Lesering” in 1950.  The club became the engine of growth for Bertelsmann. The principle:  Many people regularly order a new book or other media and get spending less, on average by 10 to 20 percent.  The first store was opened under the name “Bookstore” on April 1, 1964 in Kiel.  The best times had the book club after the turn of the early 1990s: In Germany, there were seven million book club members and 320 branches. The turnover reached 700 million euros.  Over the years sales had plummeted to 100 million Euros.  The sale of e-books did not stem the tide either.

Source:  German Press Coverage