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Barnes & Noble Reports Record Bookstore Sales for Holidays

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Jan 03 – Jan 09, 2011 Edition Barnes & Noble Reports Record Bookstore Sales for Holidays

New York, NY/AUTHORLINK NEWS/January 6, 2011–Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world’s largest bookseller, today reported strong sales for the nine-week holiday period ending January 1, 2011.

The company significantly exceeded both online and in-store sales forecasts, led by strong consumer demand for Barnes & Noble’s NOOK brand of eReading products. The company sold virtually its entire inventory of NOOKcolor and E Ink devices during the holiday season while exceeding its sales plan for accessories associated with the NOOK product line.

In addition, strong device sales helped drive eBook content sales that have significantly exceeded forecasts. Barnes & Noble.com comparable sales increased 78% compared to last year’s holiday selling season. Total sales at Barnes & Noble.com totaled $228.5 million, an increase of 67% as compared to the period a year ago.

William Lynch, CEO, Barnes & Noble, Inc., stated: “NOOKcolor was one of the most sought-after gifts this holiday season and has quickly become the bestselling device at Barnes & Noble. And, even more encouraging to us, NOOK’s popularity is helping to drive new sales at both our stores and online, where 60% of NOOKcolor owners are new customers of our Barnes & Noble digital bookstore.”

Barnes & Noble store sales increased 8.2% over the prior year period to $1.1 billion, with comparable store sales increasing 9.7%, marking the bookstores’ best comparable store sales performance in more than a decade. Furthermore, the company’s sales momentum increased as the holiday season progressed, resulting in a comparable store sales increase for December of 12.8%, which includes the company’s biggest sales day in its history on December 23. In addition to the tremendous success of the NOOK product line at the bookstores during the holiday season, physical book sales, especially hardcover books, were better than expected, and the company continued to experience strong performance in its Toys & Games department, where sales increased 48% during the holiday period.

Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report third quarter earnings results and discuss its outlook for the balance of fiscal year 2011 on or about February 22, 2011.