FROM THE BOOKSELLER:
Christmas book sales reports from across the world suggest the UK market was one of the most resilient over the crucial gift buying season, despite registering a 3.6% fall in sales value in December.
Volume sales in the US fell almost 8%, while in Germany value sales fell by 6% after a disastrous run-up to the final week. The French market was described as "soft", despite running just 1% behind 2009 figures for much of the year. In Russia, rising book prices meant a slight upturn in value sales, although volume was down.
In Ireland, the number of book sold fell 7%, but thanks to a rise in the average selling price Christmas sales dropped just 3%. In Denmark, Christmas sales were up 2.4 %, but after adjusting for one extra day of trading, sales were down by 1.4%. In Austria, sales were 5.2% below those of December 2009.
In Australia a pre-Christmas survey undertaken by Bookseller and Publisher found more than two-thirds of booksellers experiencing a sales decline on 2009. In Canada, Quill & Quire described Christmas as "strictly average".
However, despite the overall decline in print sales, there were some good performances among individual retail chains and at independent bookshops. In Germany, Thalia grew book sales 7.2% in the Christmas quarter, with sales of its e-reader Oyo also strong and digital book sales up 200% year on year; while in the US Barnes & Noble reported like-for-like sales growth in December of 12.8%. In Canada, Indigo Books & Music said e-book sales were 50 times higher this festive season than last. In Slovenia, Mladinska knjiga, the biggest book retailer that covers around 50% of the market, Christmas sales in bookshops in 2010 were around 5% up against Christmas sales in 2009. The biggest increase was in online sales, up 25%.
FOR INDIVIDUAL MARKET REPORTS VISIT THE BOOKSELLER