Bookstore sales in July fell by just under 1%, compared to July 2015, according to preliminary estimates released Thursday morning by the U.S. Census Bureau. The decline marks the first month in 2016 that bookstore sales fell, compared to the same period in 2015.
Sales fell from $752 million in July 2015 to $745 million this July, a decline of 0.9%.
The drop reflects the fact that July 2016 did not have as strong a selling title as Go Set a Watchman, which was released last July and proved a particularly strong seller for bookstores.
Even with the decline in July, though, bookstore sales for the first seven months of 2016 were up 4.6% over the same period in 2015, rising to $6.18 billion from $5.90 billion.
For the entire retail sector, July sales were up 0.9% and sales in the first seven months of the year rose 2.1% over 2015.