Bookstore sales fell 4.5% in 2014, to $11.38 billion, down from $11.90 billion in 2013, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sales finished the year on a small uptick, rising to $1.36 billion in December compared to $1.35 billion in December 2013.
The preliminary figures are often adjusted in subsequent months so the 2014 sales numbers will likely change. In 2013, for example, preliminary estimates showed that bookstore sales in 2013 fell 1.6%; revised data put the decline at 4.9%.
Preliminary estimates for the entire retail segment show sales rose 4.0% in 2014 over 2013 and December sales were up 4.8%.