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Books Will No Longer Be Sold At Costco

Costco has made a move that poses another threat to the publishing industry. It will no longer be selling books all year round, and will instead, only stock them for holidays and during special promotions.

Several publishing executives informed of this plan revealed Costco would cease selling books consistently from January 2025.

On Reddit, this decision was met with criticism, where users compared it to “cancelling the hot dog in the food court.”

Executives revealed this decision was made in an effort to cut back labour costs that are associated with stocking books, usually done by hand. Many other Costco products are rolled out via a pallet.

Costco staff also have to commit a large amount of manpower to put new books on display each week, when they are released, and return old books that have not been sold.

This decision will have a major impact on the publishing industry as Costco usually purchases books in bulk, ordering tens of thousands at a time minimum.

Last week, Costco reported its earnings in its most recent quarter. Its total revenue was U$58.52 billion for the quarter ending May 12. Analysts’ average estimate was U$58.07 billion.

It also posted a profit of U$3.78 per share. Estimates were U$3.70.

Last year, over 767 million books were sold in the US, with 69.8 million books sold in Australia.

The US saw a slight drop of 2.6 per cent, having sold 787 million books in 2022. Australia sold 70.9 million in 2022.

In 2019, over 697 million books were sold in the US, jumping to 756.82 million the next year.

In 2021, while the world was in lockdowns and individuals purchased online, book sales hit a record of 837.66 million in the US. Whereas in Australia, 65.4 million books were sold that year.

In 2022, a proposed deal that would have seen Penguin Random House acquire Simon & Schuster was blocked by the US Federal Government.

The book publishing industry in the US earns over U$28 billion annually. In Australia, the book publishing industry earns around A$2 billion annually.

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