Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) today reported holiday sales for the nine-week holiday period ending January 3, 2015.
The Retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores and BN.com, had sales of $1.1 billion, increasing 0.2% over the prior year. Sales benefitted from the continued stabilization of physical book sales and growth in the educational toys and games and gift departments. These positive factors, together with favorable timing of the fiscal nine-week period, which ended on January 3rd this year as compared to December 28th last year, offset the sales decline from store closures. Excluding the impact of this timing difference, total Retail sales would have declined approximately 1.6% from the prior year.
“Core” comparable bookstore sales, which exclude sales of NOOK® products, increased 1.7% for the comparable holiday period. Total comparable bookstore sales, including NOOK products, declined 0.6%. Comparable sales comparisons are not impacted by the calendar timing difference noted above.
“We were very pleased with our overall holiday sales results,” said Michael P. Huseby, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “Our Core comparable bookstore sales were better than our expectations, even as we cycled against the improved Core sales trends that began this period a year ago. Our Retail booksellers performed at an outstanding level for our customers this holiday season, which is reflected in our results.”
The NOOK segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had sales of $56 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 55.4% as compared to a year ago. Device and accessories sales were $28.5 million, a decrease of 67.9% from a year ago. Digital content sales were $27.4 million, a decline of 25.0% compared to a year ago.
Based on the better than expected Retail Core comparable bookstore sales performance, the Company now expects full-year Retail Core comparable bookstore sales to be approximately flat. The Company maintains its outlook on total Retail comparable bookstore sales to decline in the low-single digits, College comparable store sales to decline in the low-single digits and full fiscal year EBITDA losses in the NOOK segment to decline versus the prior year.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report third quarter results in early March 2015.
About Barnes & Noble, Inc.
Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS) is a Fortune 500 company and the leading retailer of content, digital media and educational products. The Company operates 658 Barnes & Noble bookstores in 50 states, and one of the Web’s largest e-commerce sites, BN.com (www.bn.com). Its NOOK digital business offers award-winning NOOK® products and an expansive collection of digital reading and entertainment content through the NOOK Store® (www.nook.com), while Barnes & Noble College Booksellers, LLC operates 714 bookstores serving over five million students and faculty members at colleges and universities across the United States.
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