BA and indies "bullish" about Christmas

<p>The Booksellers Association and independent bookshops have shrugged off the latest gloomy figures about the wider retail market with a predicted &quot;bullish&quot; Christmas.</p><p>Peter Donaldson, from the Red Lion Bookshop in Colchester, said: &quot;If I didn&#39;t know the economy was collapsing around our ears, I wouldn&#39;t be able to tell.&quot; Tim O&#39;Kelly, of One Tree Books in Petersfield, described turnover as &quot;buoyant&quot; and Lesley Agnew of the Children&#39;s Bookshop in Muswell Hill, north London, said that turnover in September beat the same period last year. &quot;People are especially saying they are buying for Christmas,&quot; she said. &quot;I think they are not leaving it so that there is a lot to buy in December.&quot;</p><p>However, Hazel Broadfoot, of Village Books in Dulwich and Wandsworth in London, said that footfall was down. &quot;It&#39;s unusual, as in previous recessions the book trade has been resilient,&quot; she said. &quot;I &#8232;don&#39;t feel it&#39;s going to be a great retail Christmas.&quot;</p><p>Meryl Halls, head of membership services at the BA, said although some members had witnessed a recent decline in browsing customers who convert into buyers, they &quot;are bullish about some of the great books they have to offer in the run-up to Christmas and continue to promote them with great enthusiasm&quot;.</p><p>The CBI&#39;s latest Distributive Trades Survey shows high street sales fell for the seventh month running in October while footfall monitor SPSL&#39;s Retail Think Tank also issued &quot;its most pessimistic set of retail health predictions yet&quot;.</p>