Book sales throughout the UK in August have remained "tough" according to the British Retail Consortium, as it reported general retail sales were down by 0.6% on the month compared to last year on a like-for-like basis. Yesterday, The Bookseller reported that spending on print books had slumped by 4% in August, a seven-year low for the month, according to Nielsen BookScan data.
The BRC said: "Book sales remained very tough and well down on a year ago, particularly fiction titles. However, David Nicholls’ One Day sold very well."
The group said riots in England were not widespread or prolonged enough to have a significant impact on sales.
Food and drink sales were the only category in which sales rose from the previous month, while clothing sales were steady. Sales of all other goods, including footwear and furniture, fell.
Stephen Robertson, BRC director general, said: "It remains a tale of two halves. The food sector has proved more resilient but non-food retail showed a marked decrease in sales year-on-year.
"The spell of hot weather at the start of the month was a boost for some retailers but it failed to last long enough to make a big impact."