Bookstores traditionally see a decline in sales after the holiday season and January is no exception. Retail sales at U.S. bookstores were down by 8.4% in January 2018 compared to January 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 and superstores.
The independent bookstore channel ended 2017 with a 2.6% gain over 2016. As of March 6, the year-to-date sales for independent bookstores, as reported to the weekly Indie Bestseller Lists, were up more than 4% over 2017.