Print sales held up well during the week of Thanksgiving this year, rising 7.5% in Nielsen BookScan’s retail & club channel compared to the week of Thanksgiving in 2012. The top-selling title in the channel was Hard Luck, which sold nearly 99,000 copies during the week at the retail & club outlets that report to BookScan. The Jeff Kinney title did much better in the mass merchandiser and other sales channel, however, selling over 160,000 copies at those outlets, which include Walmart. The second most popular book over Thanksgiving in the retail & club channel was Things That Matter, which had almost 49,000 unit sales, followed by Cross My Heart, which sold about 41,000 copies. In the fourth and fifth spots, respectively, were Killing Jesus (almost 40,000 units sold) and David and Goliath (over 35,000).

Customers at mass merchandisers feasted on several Disney Press titles that were part of a special Black Friday promotion (see p. 15). Five storybook collections sold a total of about 395,000 copies during Thanksgiving week at mass merchandisers that report to BookScan, led by Disney Fairies Storybook Collection, which had just under 90,000 unit sales.

Year-over-year Thanksgiving-week sales comparisons by region are skewed by the fact that totals for 2012 do not include Walmart. And all the hype about Black Friday and other promotional events over the holiday weekend overshadows the fact that sales—at least for print books—tend to be higher the week after Thanksgiving than they are during the week of Thanksgiving itself. Comparing the two weeks last year, sales at outlets that report to BookScan rose 25% after the holiday.

Thanksgiving Week Sales by Region, 2012–2013

(units in thousands)

2012 2013* % Change
Northeast 866 969 11.9%
Middle Atlantic 1,769 2,028 14.6%
East North Central 1,987 2,367 19.1%
West North Central 882 1,175 33.2%
South Atlantic 2,208 2,676 21.2%
South Central 1,601 2,180 36.2%
Mountain 1,023 1,252 22.4%
Pacific 2,111 2,402 13.8%
Total 12,447 15,049 20.9%

Thanksgiving Week Sales by Channel, 2012–2013

(units in thousands)

11/25/12 12/1/13* % Change
Overall Total 12,447 15,049 20.9%
Retail & Club 10,252 11,025 7.5%
Mass Merchandisers & Other 2,195 4,024 83.3%

*Includes Walmart sales, which were not counted in 2012.

Source: nielsen bookscan