Dubray expects to sell 300,000 books in the run-up to Christmas

Leading Irish books retailer Dubray expects to sell about 300,000 titles between now and Christmas Day as consumers seek gifts for friends and family.

“Christmas is absolutely make or break as far as book retailers go,” Maria Dickenson, managing director of Dubray Books, told Inside Business, a podcast from The Irish Times. “We do about 20 per cent of our business in December and about 10 per cent in the last 10 days [before Christmas Day]. Books as gifts are a very important part of the business.

“Black Friday is really the kick-off of it now. It used to be a slower build through November and December. From here on out, it’s all systems go.”

Christmas time is ‘make or break’ for booksellers

Listen | 35:02

Ms Dickenson said about three million books were sold in this period of 2022, out of a total for the year of 13 million. Dubray has a market share of about 10 per cent and she expects the company to mirror its sales performance for last year during the 2023 run-up to Christmas.


“It will be very busy for us across the stores and, of course, online is a growth area for us as well.”

Dubray is celebrating 50 years in business this year. It started as a single shop in Bray in 1973, opened by founder Helen Clear. In early 2020 it was acquired by Eason and now has 13 shops across the country. It also recently took over The Gutter Bookshop, which has stores in Dalkey and Temple Bar in Dublin.

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock

Ciarán Hancock is Business Editor of The Irish Times