Retail Sales at Bookstores Up in May

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    Retail sales at U.S. bookstores were up by 0.5 percent in May 2018 compared to May 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 July 9, 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 May 2018 bookstore sales are estimated at $745 million, compared to sales of $741 million for the same period the previous year. Total retail and food service sales in May 2018 are estimated at $531 billion, compared to $496.4 billion in May 2017, an increase of 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

    670

    -2.8

    May

    741

    745 (p)

    0.5

    YTD

    4,094

    4,009 (p)

    -2.1

    (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.