Snow helps out online book sales, says BRC

Snow helps out online book sales, says BRC

<p>Online book sales increased during the snow last month but failed to match the losses in stores caused by the weather, according to the British Retail Consortium.&nbsp; Like-for-like retail sales fell by 0.3% in the period from 28th Nov to 1st Jan, with total sales up 1.5%. Non-food declined by 0.8% on a like-for-like basis but increased by 0.6% overall.</p><p>The British Retail Consortium said of the book trade: &quot;Book sales fell further below their year-earlier level. Online sales picked up in the snow but failed to recoup store losses. Celebrity cookbooks and biographies were popular, with <em>Jamie Oliver&rsquo;s 30-Minute Meals</em> a top seller.&quot; Independent bookshops told The Bookseller last week that they had seen an uptick in sales in the days before Christmas as customers became concerned about online deliveries.</p><p>Stephen Robertson, director general, British Retail Consortium, said: &quot;The unusually early winter weather made a difficult Christmas worse. With mounting concerns about the impact of spending cuts and the wider economy, sales growth has been weak since last summer. December was always likely to be similarly unspectacular but the snow and ice dealt an extra blow to business for many retailers . . . This is no return to the dire picture two years ago, but the message for the Chancellor is: concentrate on delivering growth and leave any new burdens out of your March Budget.&quot;</p>