Bookstore sales tumbled 10.3% in August, compared to the same period a year ago, according to preliminary figures released by the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales dropped to $1.23 billion, down from $1.37 billion one year ago.
Given that August is a big back-to-school month for college students, the figures suggest students are continuing to move away from print materials and purchases in their college stores. This also means the group is continuing to embrace, in growing numbers, digital content.
The poor August report continues to reflect what has been a soft year for physical bookstores. For the first eight months of 2019, bookstore sales dropped 6.1% from the comparable period a year ago. Revenue declined from $6.89 billion to $6.47 billion in the first eight months of 2019.
For the entire retail market, sales rose 4.6% in August over a year ago and were up 3.3% in the year-to-date period.