Book sales jump a third in first week of bookshops reopening in England and Wales

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Wednesday April 21, 2021 at 3:25pm


Booksellers report giddy customers browsing and smelling books, with 3.7m print books shifted in first week after lockdown


Booksellers have reported their customers “acting like kids in a sweet shop”, with print sales jumping a third in the first week of bookshops opening their doors after lockdown.

Bookshops open across England and Wales opened on 12 April, alongside other non-essential retailers, for the first time since December. Readers rushed to benefit, with official book sales monitor Nielsen BookScan reporting print market growth of 33% in volume and 32.5% in value week on week. In total, 3.7m books were sold in the seven days to 17 April.

“Opening our doors again was utterly joyous,” said Waterstones chief operating officer Kate Skipper. The company has reopened its 243 shops in England and Wales, and is set to open its Scottish and Northern Irish shops from next week. “Being back amongst the shelves, touching the books and talking about books, is the best – recommending books is something that I think everyone’s just been desperate for. If you don’t know what you want to read, I don’t think you can replicate being in a bookshop.”

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