Rest, recuperate, and read a book this Christmas

The Executive Director of the Australian Retailers Association, Russell Zimmerman, said ARA/Roy Morgan predict over $7.6 billion will be spent in the “Other Retailing” category this Christmas, as Australians build reading lists for themselves and their families this summer.

Commenting after a year of softening book sales, Mr Zimmerman hopes the festive season brings some much-needed cheer to book retailers, expecting physical and online books to contribute marginally to the projected 3.7% growth in the “Other Retailing” category in the lead-up to Christmas.

“As Australians prepare to slow down and reflect over the summer break, book retailers are gearing up to fill orders for customers who look forward to a relaxing holiday with a book by their side,” Mr Zimmerman said.

Dymocks Managing Director, Steve Cox, said November and December account for over 30% of total book sales, and over 2 million books would be sold in the lead up to Christmas – half of these being non-fiction books, with fiction and kid’s books accounting for 25% each.

“Our current top 10 is dominated by Australia’s favourite blue heeler BLUEY! With 20,000 copies sold in the last 5 weeks alone, he has captured the imaginations of kids across Australia. Kitty Flanagan’s 488 Rules for Life has been in our top 10 since October and is the perfect gift to ease the stress of the silly season,” said Mr Cox.

“Children’s book sales increase by around 150% at this time of year, and it is heartening to think of all the books which will be wrapped and waiting to be opened on Christmas day!” said Mr Cox.

Mr Cox revealed non-fiction books jump from 39% to 50% of total sales over Christmas, driven by biographies – this year, music bios dominate the category with releases from Elton John, Clare Bowditch, and many others.

“Dymocks has just announced in 2019 Book of the Year – Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. Last year’s winner, Boy Swallows Universe, tripled in sales in the weeks following the announcement,” Mr Cox said.

“Our stores have shelves full of books for everyone’s taste to stack under the Christmas tree – whether you’re a lover of novels, a history buff, a budding chef, or a parent looking to capture your child’s imagination,” Mr Zimmerman concluded.

ARA/Roy Morgan Pre-Christmas Sales Predictions – 14 November-24 December 2019

Forecast 2019 Pre-Christmas Sales Growth, by Category

Forecast 2019 Pre-Christmas Sales Growth, by State

For more Christmas predictions, visit www.australian-retailers-association.com/christmas-predictions

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