A report issued by Ipsos seems to confirm conclusions drawn from AAP sales data—that publishers did better than booksellers in 2002. According to the Ipsos BookTrends survey, unit sales of adult books rose 3% last year, to 1.14 billion, while consumer spending on books rose just 2%, to $10.97 billion.
The sluggish dollar growth was attributed to increased buying of discounted books by consumers. Purchases of books over the Internet, where most books are discounted, accounted for 8% of adult book purchases last year, up from 7%. While the Internet's share of the market increased 1%, the chain stores' share fell 1% to 22%. Independent booksellers' market share held even, at 16%. Ipsos also found more consumers buying books at discount stores. And used bookstores' market share rose from 3% to 5%, another factor that doesn't help publishers or traditional booksellers.
Another finding of the survey was that 56% of households bought at least one book last year, down from 57% in 2001. With fewer households buying books, growth was achieved because households shopped for books more often last year, Ipsos found. "Publishers and retailers were able to get their existing customer base to buy more books last year. Clearly, the challenge is to grow that customer base," said Barrie Rappaport, manager of Ipsos BookTrends.