Bookstore sales: The Harry Potter Factor

Publisher’s Weekly reports good news from booksellers today, including the following:

“B&N’s comparable store sales rose 5.1% in July — primarily on the strength of Harry Potter — and 5.6% for the quarter. Comparable store sales even edged up at B. Dalton, rising 0.8% in July and 0.7% for the
quarter. Borders had less dramatic growth, with same store sales
rising 1.7% at the superstores and 3.7% at Waldenbooks.”

But the bookstores are quick to say that their sales are not due just to Harry, and, in fact, B&N reports that “deep discounting of the Harry Potter book held down profits.”

A few more interesting numbers:

“Borders Group had total sales of $826.9 million for the quarter ended
July 27, an 8.3% increase compared with the second quarter of the
prior year. That included $570 million at the superstores and $168.7
million at the mall-based stores. Borders International sales continue
to grow rapidly, with sales up 34.2% to $88.2 million. Company-wide
operating income increased to $9.8 million, from $8.0 million. Borders
is forecasting comparable store sales will be down or flat for the
full fiscal year.”

All that from a book about a 15 year old wizard… amazing.

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