Running to stand still

<p>Giles Elliott</p><p>For the third week in a row, the value of book sales through BookScan's Total Consumer Market has failed to rise above 2004 levels. Christmas came late last year for retailers, and with 25th December falling on a Sunday this time round, the hope is that the remaining two full weeks of shopping will see a massive surge in book purchases.</p><p>The policy of discounting to half price and more, described by Ottakar's Nigel Jones last week as "carnage"--as it joined the fray with an offer in the Daily Express-- saw more than 7.5 million books sold in the seven days to 10...

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