Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, sold a record 1.8 million copies of J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in the first 48 hours of its release at its retail stores and on Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com). In the first hour, Barnes & Noble bookstores sold 560,000 copies or 156 copies per second. Other noteworthy Harry Potter facts and figures include:
- Sales for the first 48 hours of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows were 38 percent greater than sales of Rowling’s previous book, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.
- Over the weekend, Barnes & Noble stores sold an additional 213,000 copies of titles in the series and Harry Potter-related products.
- More than one million visitors packed Barnes & Noble stores on Friday evening, July 20.
- Barnes & Noble.com shipped Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to 112 countries.
- Harry Potter titles make up seven of the top 10 titles on Barnes & Noble.com, 18 of the top 50, 22 of the top 100, and 35 of the top 50 children’s titles.
- Since publication of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, total sales of books in the series at Barnes & Noble have surpassed 11 million copies and $285 million.
On Friday night, Barnes & Noble stores nationwide held “Midnight Magic Costume” parties and stayed open to the wee hours of the morning to accommodate the fans that wanted to be the first to buy the book.
People began gathering outside of Barnes & Noble stores as early as 5:00 p.m., Thursday evening, July 19, and in some cities, lines for the book went around four city blocks. Storytellers, witches, magicians, face painters and Harry Potter look-a-likes were on hand for in-store celebrations.
The fun continued on Saturday with Barnes & Noble stores extending the festive atmosphere with lots of Harry Potter-themed activities. A sampling of weekend festivities around the country include:
- More than 7,000 people attended the “Midnight Magic Costume Party” at the Union Square Barnes & Noble in Manhattan, the world’s largest costume party. The party’s special guest was Jim Dale, the voice for all of the Potter characters in the audiobooks. All floors of the store were transformed into the world of Harry Potter. The store’s festivities were webcast live on Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com) beginning at 9:00 p.m.
- From the entrance at the Barnes & Noble in Burbank, California, guests passed through the only all-magical village in Burbank, “Wand on the Avon,” which included the Boar’s Bear Inn (the store’s café). “Vertic Alley” was the magical shopping district where the costume contest was held. The store also had the “Ginger Bungalow,” the “Private Drive of Magnolia Circle,” the “Old Blacke Magic Manor,”“Sir Wort’s of the Valley School for Witches and Wizards,” and the “Magical Ministry.”
- At the Har Mar Mall Barnes & Noble in Roseville, Minnesota, customers, local celebrities including authors, media personalities, and U.S. Senator Amy Klobauchar took part in a marathon reading of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince beginning at 9:15 a.m. on Friday, July 20.
- The poster winner at the Mall of America Barnes & Noble in Bloomington, Minnesota, had a truly wonderful evening. In addition to winning a poster of the book signed by the illustrator at the “Midnight Magic Costume” party and a “bump” to the head of the line, her boyfriend took the opportunity to propose to her. He slipped our cashier a ring box to include with her purchase.
- The Barnes & Noble at Clackamas Town Center in Portland, Oregon, helped a local bride and groom make their wedding day extra special. One of the bride’s biggest wishes for her July 20th wedding day was to buy a copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows at the stroke of midnight at her favorite bookstore. The store was thrilled to host the happy couple. After their wedding and reception, they were whisked away, dressed in their formal wedding attire, and arrived just in time for the midnight sale at the Clackamas Town Center Barnes & Noble.
“This isn’t the end of Harry Potter by any means,” said Steve Riggio, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “Barnes & Noble expects to sell millions of Harry Potter books over the next few years.”
In addition to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Barnes & Noble bookstores and Barnes & Noble.com continue to experience strong sales for Rowling’s first six novels in the series – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. The books are available individually, in hardcover and paperback, and in a special box set.
About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller and a Fortune 500 company, operates 793 bookstores in 50 states. For the fourth year in a row, the company is the nation’s top bookseller brand, as determined by a brand’s overall strength based on its combination of familiarity, quality and purchase intent, according to the EquiTrend® Brand Study by Harris Interactive®. Barnes & Noble conducts its online business through Barnes & Noble.com (www.bn.com), one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites.
General information on Barnes & Noble, Inc. can be obtained via the Internet by visiting the company's corporate Web site: http://www.barnesandnobleinc.com.