Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Celebrity Writers Stay on Shelf

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Celebrity Writers Stay on Shelf

Article excerpt

BIG-NAME celebrity books have failed to inspire consumers this Christmas after Waterstone's blamed poor non-fiction demand for a drop in sales.

The chain's owner HMV highlighted the strain on the book market after like-for-like sales at Waterstone's dropped 3.1% in the 26 weeks to the end of October.

Waterstone's is currently running a 50% sale on Parky by Michael Parkinson, Stephen Fry In America and Nigella Lawson's Nigella Christmas.

The retailer has seen the pace of decline accelerate since the end of October, with the market contracting 5% during the half-year period after a disappointing performance in the non-fiction category.

HMV chief executive Simon Fox said celebrity hardback books were usually a key part of Christmas trade.

"I would say the number of titles and quality of titles is the same year on year," he said.

"But rate of sale is lower than last year and lower than we would want them to be. They are clearly a discretionary spend. …

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