Bookstore sales ended a six-month losing streak in February as sales rose 2.3% over February 2017.
According to preliminary estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau, bookstore sales hit $706 million in February, up from $690 million a year ago. The increase was due in part to sales of Fire and Fury. Although the book was released in early January, it still racked up sales of over 153,000 copies in February, according to NPD BookScan. This bolstered sales for that month, which was one of the slowest, sales-wise, of the year.
The February increase slightly offset a steep decline in January. Bookstore sales for the first two months of 2018 were down 8.6% from the comparable period in 2017.
For the entire retail sector, February sales rose 4.0%, over February 2017. Sales year-to-date were up 5.3% over the comparable period last year.