July bookstore sales fell 3.4% compared to July 2021, according to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Sales we $646 million this past July, compared to $668 million a year ago. It was the second straight month bookstore sales declined compared to 2021, after a steady string of monthly increases, and could reflect a new normal in the bookstore sales pattern, as comparisons to 2021 now reflect a period when many stores had reopened after lockdowns. In June, sales were down 8.2%.
Despite the two-month sales skid, bookstore sales were still up 10.3% in the first seven months of 2022 over 2021, with sales rising to $4.54 billion from $4.11 billion in the comparable period in 2021. For the entire retail segment July sales rose 8.5% and sales increased 10.2% in the year-to-date.