Ninety percent of booksellers have reported an increase in sales in Christmas 2015, including 71% of indies, according to the results of Books+Publishing’s annual post-Christmas survey.
Books+Publishing received feedback from representatives of close to 150 bookshops around Australia for its annual post-Christmas survey. Overall, six percent of booksellers reported a decrease in sales and four percent a plateau. Among indies, 22% saw a drop and seven percent a plateau.
Eighty percent of all booksellers said sales were better than expected, 17% said they were close to expectations and 3% said they were worse than expected. However, indies were more disappointed with sales than chain stores; just 39% of indies said sales met their expectations, 49% said sales were close to expectations, and 12% said they were worse than expected.
‘With a third year of growth for the Dymocks network it was very exciting to see some stores in the network achieve record sales days in the lead-up to December 25,’ said head of marketing and merchandise Sophie Higgins. ‘If there was any doubt that “books are back” I think the sales and foot traffic of Christmas 2015 put that to bed.’
Many indies also commented on the strong finish to December. ‘We had a good November, followed by a solid start to December, building up to our best Christmas trade ever,’ said Avenue Bookshop owner Chris Redfern, while Suzie Bull from Farrell’s Bookshop said ‘the month of December was extremely busy, with many customers leaving with a wide range of books for Christmas’.
Publishers can rest easy when it comes to returns. The majority of booksellers (53%) are expecting returns to be lower than last year, 36% are expecting returns to be about the same, and just 11% are expecting higher returns.