Sales in March at major retailers' stores open at least a year are expected to be up 6.3% when reported tomorrow, according to the Wall Street Journal, "bolstering hopes that consumers are poised to join the economic recovery." Part of the gain is attributed to Easter falling in March rather than April, as it did a year ago.
The paper continued: "The positive indications flow across the board, from discounters to department stores, fueled by Easter spending, some pent-up demand, warmer weather and easier comparisons to soft year-ago figures, when same-store sales fell 5%."
Yesterday the International Council of Shopping Centers raised its sales estimate for March to a gain of 8%-10%, up from 3%-3.5%
The Boston Globe praised the "three AAA-rated independent bookstores left in our reading area": Harvard Book Store, Cambridge; New England Mobile Book Fair, Newton; and Brookline Booksmith, Brookline. The paper added, "Apologies to the excellent Porter Square Books, but five years in business is a whisper on the Buddha's eyelash compared to the track record of your three venerable competitors."
Among the points:
As noted here, Marshall Smith wants to sell Wellesley Booksmith and will eventually sell Brookline Booksmith.
Jeff Mayersohn, who with his wife, Linda Seamonson, bought Harvard Book Store two years ago, said, "Sales are down but not catastrophically. I think there is money to be made in the book business. People are spending a lot of time talking about books, and that can't be all that bad."
Sales at Porter Square Books have leveled off after the early days of double-digit growth but, "It's possible to be profitable and not grow sales," manager Dale Szczeblowski said. "There is definitely an opportunity."
The Alphabet Garden children's bookstore, Cheshire, Conn., has moved to South Main Street, where the store will have "more space and visibility," owner Karlene Rearick told the Meriden Record-Journal. The store had been in the Watch Factory Shoppes for four and a half years.
In a video of three "Retail Stars" from around the world whose "concepts [are] getting it right," Monocle.com included 192 Books in Chelsea in New York City (starting at about 3:20). The store, founded by Holt editor Jack Macrae and his wife, gallery owner Paula Cooper, specializes in new, used and rare art books, literature, children's titles and more, exhibits art and has an extensive reading program.
Patrick Knisley told Monocle: "We're very small and so we can't stock everything. And so we think of our collection as a little curated. So the philosophy is that we want you to be surprised with what you find here, and it happens often."
What's the difference between a children's bookstore and a
babysitting service? Some New Zealand booksellers are trying to figure
that one out. The Herald reported that Children's
Bookshop, Christchurch, "is working with security staff of a nearby
tavern and casino over the growing problem of parents leaving children
to read while they gamble."
"If a child becomes distressed we
will find out where the parent is and return the child to them," said
Mary Sangster, the bookshop's office manager. "We work with security
people where kids have been left in the shop. We will do our utmost for
it not to happen because we are not a baby-sitting service."
the annual White House Easter Egg Roll Monday, special guest J.K.
Rowling read to a small group of kids and said that while "she doesn't
plan to write any offshoots of the Potter series, she didn't rule it out
'maybe 10 years from now,' depending on how she feels. But she told one
child she does want to write more books," the Washington Post reported.
note: William Mayne, called by the Guardian "one of the most highly regarded
writers of the postwar 'golden age' of children's literature," died
March 24. He was 82.
Book trailer of the day: Blows
to the Head: How Boxing Changed My Mind by Binnie Klein (SUNY
Effective April 26, Jeanne Emanuel joins Perseus Books Group as v-p of special and gift sales, a new position. She will be based in the Cambridge, Mass., office.
Most recently she was v-p of sales for Candlewick Press; earlier she was executive director of sales for Adams Media and director of business development and director of sales and marketing for the gift trade at Workman Publishing.
In a statement, president and CEO David Steinberger commented: "We are always looking to invest in new ways to grow sales for our in-house and client publishers, both in physical and digital formats, and we see the specialty and gift channels as a significant growth area."
Effective with the fall list, Bright Sky Press will be distributed in North America by BookMasters Distribution Services.
Bright Sky, Houston, Tex., publishes a range of titles that include classic Texana, regional gardening, history, humor, ranching, social media, body/mind/spirit and children's fiction and nonfiction. The press has a backlist of about 100 and will release 10 titles this fall.