November bookstore sales took a pretty big hit, falling 7.3% compared to November 2018, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau this morning. Sales fell from $752 million in November 2018, to $697 million last year in November.
In November 2018, Michelle Obama's Becoming was released in the middle of the month, sparking huge sales; no book released this past November reached the sales level of Becoming. In addition to the difficult comparisons to November, bookstore sales all year have struggled, faced with tough comparisons to the boom in sales of political books and general softness among college stores. Faced with those issues, for the first 11 months of 2019, bookstore sales fell 5.5%, to $8.82 billion, from the comparable period in 2018.
For the entire retail segment, November sales were up 2.9%, while year-to-date sales rose 3.4%.