English booksellers have a good World Cup
16.07.10 | Victoria Gallagher and Philip Stone


The book trade has managed to sidestep any negative effects of the World Cup, with several sports books having a sales boost during the tournament that ended on Sunday.

According to Nielsen BookScan data, sales over the past four weeks (to 10th July) were down 2% year on year, to £110.3m. Although this is a significant improvement on first-quarter book sales (sales were down 5.9% year on year in the first 13 weeks of 2010), it is a slightly deeper decline than sales during the previous four-week period (to 12th June), in which sales were down 1.7% year on year (to £103.7m).

Chris Rushby, buying director of Bertrams, said the wholesaler didn’t see any drop in sales that could be specifically pinned on the World Cup. However, he added: “Had England got closer to the final it would have made a more significant difference, obviously.”

Rushby said the official tie-in titles from Carlton had done particularly well over the “whole period”.
Titles including Torres: El Niño: My Story (Harper­Sport) and 2010 Fifa World Cup South Africa Official Book (Carlton) were bestselling sports titles selling 4,393 and 3,510 respectively during the four weeks. However, Steven Gerrard’s autobiography (Bantam), first published in 2006, and Sir Bobby Charlton’s autobiography (Headline), published in 2008, also enjoyed sales boosts during the tournament, with Gerrard selling 857 and Charlton selling 746 copies.

During the last World Cup in 2006, the trade stayed robust while the tournament was on. Sales increased by 4% year on year to £106.5m.

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