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Foyles enjoys buoyant Christmas trading

Wednesday January 6th 2016

Bookseller Foyles saw like-for-like sales in its stores increase by 4.7% in December despite any significant discounting.

The retailer said the result was particularly pleasing in light of an overall 2.15% reduction in the average unit price of books sold over the 12 weeks to Christmas, which was mainly driven by high volume sales of popular priced books such as the Ladybird for grown-ups series priced at £6.99.

Paul Currie, chief executive of Foyles, said: “We were delighted in the performance at our flagship Charing Cross Road store and our other London bookshops, bearing in mind a challenging retail environment and lower footfall in the West End reported by other retailers following the Paris terrorist attacks."

The regional stores also performed well as the company used the Christmas peak trading period to “fully understand” the different trading profile in its new stores in Bristol and Birmingham.

Currie added: “A recent reorganisation of our website has enabled us to deliver exceptional service and we have seen a positive movement in sales and higher conversion as a result. We have a positive outlook for 2016.”

Foyles revealed that its top ten bestsellers for the month of December were as follows:

  • How it Works: The Husband (Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups) by Jason Hazeley; Joel Morris (Michael Joseph)

  • How it Works: The Wife (Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups) by Jason Hazeley; Joel Morris (Michael Joseph)

  • The Ladybird Book of the Hangover by Jason Hazeley; Joel Morris (Michael Joseph)

  • We Go To The Gallery (A Dung Beetle Learning Guide) by Miriam Elia (Dung Beetle Press)

  • The Ladybird Book of Mindfulness (Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups) by Jason Hazeley; Joel Morris (Michael Joseph)

  • The Ladybird Book of the Hipster (Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups) by Jason Hazeley; Joel Morris (Michael Joseph)

  • The Ladybird Book of the Mid-Life Crisis (Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups) by Jason Hazeley; Joel Morris (Michael Joseph)

  • Private Eye Annual 2015 by Ian Hislop (Private Eye Productions Ltd)

  • The Ladybird Book of the Shed (Ladybird Books for Grown-Ups) by Jason Hazeley; Joel Morris (Michael Joseph)

  • A Brief History of Seven Killings by Marlon James (OneWorld)

Commenting on the success of the Ladybird series, Jasper Sutcliffe, head of buying at Foyles, said: “A powerful blend of hipster irony and nostalgia, combined with a pocket-sized price tag, have made these delightful books irresistible to our customers.”