Indies grow in flat year, says BML

<p>Independent bookshops enjoyed a renaissance in an otherwise flat 2004 for sales, according to consumer research revealed at Book Marketing Ltd's annual conference.</p><p>Indies grew their sales by 7%--outstripping even supermarkets, where sales rose 6%. Chains grew sales only slightly, while a bumper Christmas capped 15% growth for internet retailers. The increases were at the expense of direct and bargain booksellers, the survey found.</p><p>It put total sales for 2004 at &#163;2.14bn, down 1% on 2003. Spending on children's books fell 22% to &#163;292m without a new Harry Potter, while...

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