Why Are Book Sales Slipping in Big Cities? (publishersweekly.com)

Since physical retailers started seeing a rebound in business after the plunge in sales in the early days of the pandemic, Barnes & Noble CEO James Daunt has often said that stores in urban areas are having the toughest time recovering. It turns out B&N is not alone in that regard. Kristen McLean, executive director of business development and industry analyst for NPD Books & Entertainment, noted that sales in most retail segments in big cities are having a difficult time making up the ground lost since 2019. Looking at books in particular, eight of the country’s 10 biggest book markets have seen their sales performances this year through May 14 trail the 15% increase in the overall market compared to the similar period in 2019, while many midsize markets have seen substantial gains, according to BookScan data.

BookScan analyzed print unit sales from two vantage points: actual changes in sales in 2022 vs. 2019, and how sales in different DMAs (designated market areas) in 2022 vs. 2019 compare to the 15% increase posted by the overall market. Thus, sales in the New York metropolitan region, the country’s largest book market, rose about 1% this year over 2019, a growth rate that trailed the overall 15% increase by about 14 percentage points. On the other hand, Portland, Maine, saw sales increase 37% this year compared to 2019, 22 percentage points above the market average.
more at source: https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/bookselling/article/89517-why-aren-t-city-dwellers-buying-books.html

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