Black Friday weekend was good for Barnes & Noble, continuing a trend of double-digit sales growth this year, according to a company spokesperson who added that the strong showing was the result of solid trade book sales through the weekend. “The pandemic has unleashed an extraordinary amount of reading and buying of books and we are enjoying this boom in sales,” the spokesperson said.
Supply chain concerns and worries about inflation-based decreases in consumer spending were not an issue for the company, with significant sales growth in Manga and YA, as well as bestselling titles like Paul McCartney’s The Lyrics and Nikole Hannah-Jones’s The 1619 Project. Toy and game sales have also been robust, led by LEGO and Mind the Gap.
“We anticipated supply chain issues and placed all of our buys and our bets early to secure stock,” the spokesperson said. “Books are in a better position than most [retail goods] since publication dates are planned many months ahead and have already been printed, so may delays can be avoided.” In the few instances where stores are out of a particular title, B&N booksellers have been able to handsell other titles from existing stock.
Given the sustained sales increases over recent months and a reserve of titles to last the coming weeks, B&N anticipates that the strong showing will continue.