Retail Sales at Bookstores Down in December, Up in 2016

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    Retail sales at bookstores were down by 3.1 percent in December 2016 compared to December 2015, according to preliminary figures recently released by the Bureau of the Census.

    December 2016 bookstore sales are estimated at $1,409 million, compared to sales of $1,454 million for the same period last year.

    For the year, total retail sales at bookstores were up 2.6 percent, reaching $11,981 million in 2016 compared to $11,683 million last year.

    Total retail and food service sales in December 2016 are estimated at $541.8 billion, compared to $518.3 billion in December 2015, an increase of 4.5 percent.

    Period

    2015 Final
    (Millions of Dollars)

    2016
    (Millions of Dollars)

    % Change
    2016 over 2015

    January

    1,495

    1,550

    3.7

    February

    716

    767

    7.1

    March

    692

    765

    10.5

    April

    690

    756

    9.6

    May

    801

    834

    4.1

    June

    733

    768

    4.8

    July

    752

    748

    -0.5

    August

    1,633

    1,652

    1.2

    September

    1,142

    1,161

    1.7

    October

    782

    770

    -1.5

    November

    793

    801 

    1.0

    December

    1,454

    1,409 (p)

    -3.1

    YTD

    11,683

    11,981 (p)

    2.6

    (p) Preliminary figure

    Note: Estimates reflect sales of all types of participating bookstores, including trade, college, religious, chain stores (including superstores), and others. A bookstore is defined as any retail establishment with sales comprised of more than 50 percent new books and periodicals, and estimates include sales of all products in these stores.