Unit sales of print books increased nearly 25% year over year during the week ended January 2
As a result of the pandemic more customers turned to online platforms like Amazon to buy books in 2020. The demand for print books increased as a result of lockdowns and the move to learning from home. Print book sales rose in 2020 to the highest level since 2010, according to the NPD Bookscan. Unit Sales volume for print books rose 8.2% year over year in 2020 to reach 751 million units. Every category posted gains, led by juvenile fiction print books, which saw sales rise 11%. Adult non-fiction print books, the largest category of books in the US by both volume and sales revenue, increased 4.8%, or 14 million units. Unit sales of print books increased nearly 25% year over year during the week ended January 2 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan.
Direct access to bookstores was one of the last big advantages for traditional publishers but brick and mortar stores have suffered during lockdowns. Many brick and mortar retailers layered more expensive e-commerce offerings and new customer service options, from curbside pickup to home delivery, on top of normal business operations, putting pressure on their already stressed profit margins. In 2021 retailers may face the challenge of creating sustainable business and operational models that can hold or increase margins if COVID driven demand vanishes.
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