Book Blues: Sales Fall At Barnes & Noble, BAM

by , Nov 26, 2013, 5:20 PM
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Both Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million posted a quarterly decline in sales, but say they are well positioned for the critical holiday quarter.

Barnes & Noble says revenues for its fiscal second quarter slumped 8% to $1.7 billion, below industry expectations. Consolidated net income rose to $13.2 million, compared to $500,000 a year ago.

The company says it is counting on “the right merchandise” and its new multimillion-dollar ad campaign to drive traffic and sales in the coming holiday months, but is still predicting a decline in comparable-store sales in the high single digits for the full year.

By segment, it says sales in its retail division -- which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores and BN.com -- saw quarterly revenues fall 7.5% to $921 million, in line with its expectations. Sales in what it calls its “core” comparable book stores, which exclude the sales of Nook products, dropped 3.7%, which it attributes both to decreased foot traffic and tough comparisons to last year's blockbuster Fifty Shades of Grey trilogy.

Sales in its college division fell 4.6% to $738 million.

And in its troubled Nook segment, sales tumbled 32.3% to $109 million, with sales of digital content sinking 21.2% to $57 million. Nook device and accessories sales dropped 41.3% to $51 million.

Meanwhile, Books-A-Million says its third-quarter sales slipped 3.5% to $100.4 million, compared with revenues of $104 million in the year-earlier period. And comparable-store sales decreased 8.5%. Its net loss from continuing operations grew to $7.1 million, compared with a net loss of $2.7 million  in the year ago period.

Still, the company describes the results as an improvement from the first half of the year, and says “comparable-store sales improved throughout the quarter. We are encouraged by the book and merchandise lineup as we prepare for the holiday season.”

1 comment on "Book Blues: Sales Fall At Barnes & Noble, BAM".

  1. Paula Mcnulty from McNulty Consulting
    commented on: November 27, 2013 at 8:53 a.m.
    I'm trying to do my little bit to forestall a world where nearly all my shopping will be limited to Walmart and Amazon. I (try) to not buy books at Walmart or Costco. Ok, I confess to Amazon, but only when I haven't found what I want at a proper bookstore and ordering from them was too difficult/time consuming (guilt/guilt) I have fun and value browsing in real time, in a book store (chain or not), and value the unexpected treasures found. The touch, smell and artistry of book publishing -- the pleasureable, experiential side of book retailing -- soon will be extinct. So my little effort is sort of like recycling household waste. Effort, time and cost attached with little prospect of a real impact, but fulfilling a need 'to do the right thing' as a Boomer.

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