Even Online, Barnes & Noble Posts Sales Decline

  • March 19, 2009
Barnes & Noble says its sales fell 6% to $1.63 billion in the fourth quarter of its fiscal year. As expected, its comparable-store sales dropped 7.3% for the quarter. Sales even declined in its online unit: At Barnes & Noble.com, comparable sales sank 10.4% for the quarter. Net earnings--affected by severance charges--came in at $81.2 million, compared with $115 million in the same period last year.

"While 2008 proved to be the most challenging year that the company and the industry have ever experienced, we are proud of our financial results in light of the macro retail environment," the company says-- adding that while its cost-cutting efforts are ongoing, "we will continue to invest in the growth areas of the business, as evidenced in our recent acquisition of Fictionwise."

That acquisition, for about $15.7 million in cash, gives B&N an entry into the e-book marketplace. In the next quarter, the company predicts comparable-store sales will fall 6% to 9%.--Sarah Mahoney



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