Retail Sales at Bookstores Up in February

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    Retail sales at U.S. bookstores were up by 2.3 percent in February 2018 compared to February 2017, according to preliminary figures recently released by the Bureau of the Census. Estimates reflect sales of all types of participating bookstores, including trade, college, religious, chain stores (including superstores), and others.

    As of April 11, the year-to-date sales for independent bookstores, as reported to the weekly Indie Bestseller Lists, were up more than 4.5 percent over 2017. 

    The Census Bureau reported that February 2018 bookstore sales are estimated at $706 million, compared to sales of $690 million for the same period the previous year. Total retail and food service sales in February 2018 are estimated at $437.3 billion, compared to $420.4 billion in February 2017, an increase of 4 percent.

    Period

    2017 Final
    (Millions of Dollars)

    2018
    (Millions of Dollars)

    % Change
    2018 over 2017

    January

    1,424

    1,302

    -8.6

    February

    690

    706 (p)

    2.3

    YTD

    2,114

    2,008 (p)

    -5.0

    (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.