Strong Holiday Sales for Independent Bookstores

    Indies Defy Conventional Wisdom as Sales and Locations Continue to Increase

     December 8, 2011. Tarrytown, NY.

     Independent bookstores are showing continued resilience this holiday season, as reported online and in-store sales are well up year-over-year, according to the American Booksellers Association (ABA), the national trade group for independent bookstores. ABA reports that member in-store book sales as tracked by Nielsen Bookscan for Thanksgiving week--which includes Black Friday and culminated in Small Business Saturday--increased 15.5% over the same week in 2010. Online sales in ABA member websites during that week increased 60% over a year ago.

     "These sales numbers reflect what we are hearing from our members across the country,” said Oren Teicher, CEO of the American Booksellers Association. “An array of factors are fueling the resurgence of independent bookstores, including the growing acceptance of the ‘local first’ movement; an extraordinary level of innovative and creative entrepreneurship; a willingness to adapt to changing retail trends including selling both print and digital books online; and, most importantly, continuing to be an unmatched source of credible information about books and authors."

     More than 350 independent bookstores stores are selling Google eBooks through their ABA powered websites, and the just-launched IndieBound Reader mobile app facilitates reading ebooks on smartphones and tablets.

     The tide is turning for indies in other ways as well; ABA also reports that new member store locations have multiplied in the last two years, a trend that may finally put to rest the “You’ve Got Mail” notion of the local shop forced out of business by a national chain. More than 1,900 storefront locations are currently members of ABA, an increase of 15.5% since January 2010. Since 2005, more than 614 stores have opened and joined the group, 74 stores since January 2010 alone.

     About American Booksellers Association

    Founded in 1900, the American Booksellers Association is a not-for-profit trade organization devoted to meeting the needs of its core members -- independently owned bookstores with storefront locations -- through education, information dissemination, business products and services, and advocacy. ABA exists to protect and promote the interests of independent retail book businesses, as well as to protect the First Amendment rights of every American. The association actively supports free speech, literacy, and programs that support local and independent retail shops. A board of ten booksellers governs the Association. ABA is headquartered in Tarrytown, New York.

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