Retail Sales at Bookstores Down in April

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Retail sales at U.S. bookstores were down by 2.7 percent in April 2018 compared to April 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 June 13, the year-to-date sales among ABA member stores, as reported to the weekly Indie Bestseller Lists, are up more than 5 percent over 2017.

The Census Bureau reported that April 2018 bookstore sales are estimated at $669 million, compared to sales of $689 million for the same period the previous year. Total retail and food service sales in April 2018 are estimated at $484.5 billion, compared to $467.1 billion in April 2017, an increase of 3.7 percent.

Period

2017 Final
(Millions of Dollars)

2018
(Millions of Dollars)

% Change
2018 over 2017

January

1,346

1,231

-8.5

February

651

669

2.8

March

667

694

4.0

April

689

669 (p)

-2.9

YTD

3,353

3,263 (p)

-2.7

(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.