Last-minute sales lift boosts chains

<p>Katherine Rushton</p><p>Book sales edged out of the doldrums and back towards 2003 figures this week, benefiting from a last-minute upturn in sales which is expected to steepen further in the last two days before Christmas. </p><p>The market was up 1.8% by value in the seven days to 17th December compared with the corresponding week in 2004, but down 0.2% on the same week in 2003, according to Nielsen BookScan. </p><p>Consumers are leaving their shopping later, with last week's sales figures showing a 17.7% increase on the week before, compared with a 15.6% boost in the same week of 2004...

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