May 15-31, 2004 Edition

Indies Market

Share Increases

to 16 Percent

NEW YORK, NY/05/7/04—Independent bookstores increased their share of the market to 16 percent in 2003—a five year high, according to a report by Ipsos BookTrends. Ipsos BookTrends data are compiled monthly from diaries kept by a panel of 16,000 nationally representative households.

Indies captured 18 percent of trade book sales, up from 16 percent in 2002, at a time when overall consumer spending on books declined 2 percent. In 2003 sales dropped to $11 billion from $11.3 billion the previous year. Americans purchased about the same number of books in 2003 compared to 2002—1.176 billion books versus 1.177 billion books in the previous year.

BookTrends reported that the slight drop in overall book sales can be attributed in part to a 5 percent increase in consumer purchases of used books from 2002 to 2003, at a time when demand for new books fell 2 percent.