January bookstore sales fell 4.8% in January compared to the first month of 2019, according to preliminary estimates released by the U.S. Census Bureau.
Sales dropped from $1.14 billion in January 2019 to $1.02 billion in 2020. Figures include sales from trade bookstores and college stores. For the entire retail segment, sales rose 5.2% over 2019.
The drop in January bookstore sales followed a down 2019, when the Census Bureau reported that preliminary sales declined 5.7% from 2018 levels. The 4.8% January decline, however, is an improvement over December, in which bookstore sales fell 7.5%.