June 1-15, 2005 Edition

Major Chains

See Slow Growth

in First Quarter

NEW YORK, NY/05/24/05—Three major bookstore chains—Barnes & Noble, Borders, and Books-A-Million, saw combined sales of $2.06 billion for the quarter ended April 30. The figure represented an increase of 2.9% over the previous first quarter.

Books-a-Million reported growth of 4.7% to $113 million, while Barnes & Noble’s sales increased 3.7%. Borders, however, saw a decline of 13% based on a drop in music sales which offset modest single-digit gains in book sales.

Bestseller sales declined by 30%, however other categories, including fiction, children’s, graphic novels, religion, and business all reported increases.

All of the chains eagerly await the release of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, which should help second quarter sales. Adult fiction titles by James Patterson, Janet Evanovich, and Terry McMillan, along with other new releases, should also boost sales of fiction.