Unit sales of print books fell 9.2% in the week ended March 28 compared to the previous week at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. Of the four major categories, only juvenile fiction had an increase over the week ended March 21, with units up 13%.
The approach of Passover and Easter seems to have cushioned the blow of mounting store closures, with the holiday/festival/religion segment within juvenile fiction seeing a 46.8% jump in sales over the previous week. Sales in the animal segment had a 27.9% increase.
After a 66% gain in the juvenile nonfiction category in the week ended March 21 over the week ended March 14, units fell 6% last week. The strongest selling segment was holiday/festival/religion, where units increased 34.3%. The big sales winners in the week ended March 21—education/reference/language and games/activities/hobbie—-had sales declines last week, of 28.3% and 1%, respectively.
Sales in adult fiction were down in every genre last week, and units declined a total of 21%. Religion had the smallest decline, with unit sales falling 5%. Unit sales were also down in all nonfiction categories, and print sales were down a total of 13%. The home and gardening segment had the smallest decline, 2.9%, while the declines continued to mount for travel books, with sales down 34.1%. Unit sales of business/economic books declined 22.4%.