The recent return of book buyers to stores in Italy in the Italian book market has helped the overall market bounce back from showing a year-over-year revenue loss of 20% through April 18 to down 11% as of July 11, according to a study conducted by the research department of the Italian Publishers Association (AIE) based on data provided by Nielsen and IE – Informazioni Editoriali.

Overall market revenue was valued at approximately €533 million, representing a 11% drop compared to €600 million for the same period in 2019.

Perhaps even more heartening is the news that bookstore and online sales (excluding Amazon), which had fallen by 70% in weekly sales between March and April, have bounded back, showing as much as a 2.5% hike over 2019 for the week ending on July 19. Sales had shifted significantly over this period from bricks-and-mortar stores, which had been locked down, to online sales, but these too are returning to a more normal rate; typically, retailers account for some 70% of overall sales and in recent weeks have accounted for about 56% of overall sales, up from a low point of 52% earlier in the spring.

The AIE noted that the next several months will indicate whether or not the shift from retail stores to online purchases is a temporary phenomenon or has accelerated a shift that has already been underway for several years.