Reprinted with permission of Publishers Weekly
Bookstore sales finished 2009 on a weak, and disappointing, note falling 0.6% in December, to $2.03 billion, according to preliminary estimates released this morning by the U.S. Census Bureau. In contrast, the entire retail market had easily its best month of 2009 in December, with sales up 5.7%. For the full year, bookstore sales fell 0.8%, to $16.60 billion; compared to 2007, when bookstore sales were just under $17 billion, sales in 2009 were off 2.2%. Sales for the entire retail market were down 6.2% in 2008. Census may adjust the 2009 figures later this year.