Another week with double-digit gains in all but one category led to a 15.1% jump in unit sales of print books from the comparable period in 2019 at outlets that report to NPD BookScan. The juvenile nonfiction segment had the biggest gain over the week ended Aug. 3, 2019, with units spiking 40%. The usual suspects were atop the category bestseller list in the week—Big Preschool Workbook was #1, selling nearly 33,000 copies, followed by Crystal Radke’s My First Learn-to-Write Workbook, which sold more than 28,000 copies. Last year at this time, Big Preschool Workbook sold nearly 14,000 copies. Print unit sales were up 18.9% over 2019 in the adult nonfiction category.
Skyrocketing demand for boxes and packing materials during the pandemic has slashed paper production across North America, and it couldn’t have come at a worse time for retail companies.
“We’re starting to hear, ‘We’re out of paper,‘” said Polly Wong, president of San Francisco-based direct-marketing firm Belardi Wong, noting that some of her clients already missed their fall advertising campaigns due to issues at the printers.
Ms. Wong estimates that 100 million catalogs will not be printed or reach U.S. homes in time for the year’s biggest spending season as a result. “It kind of put our industry up in a panic.”
With some mills converting to cardboard to meet the spike in e-commerce deliveries and others shutting down altogether, more than 2.5 million metric tons of North American printing and writing paper capacity — or nearly one-fifth of 2019 levels — has come offline since the start of last year.
more at source: https://www.post-gazette.com/business/pittsburgh-company-news/2021/09/24/Paper-shortage-American-retailers-businesses-markets/stories/202109240128