Barnes & Noble Reports “Somewhat Disappointing Sales” for Holidays
The holiday shopping season offered up a “bah, humbug!” for the largest bookseller as Barnes & Noble announced it did not meet the company’s expectations for the quarter.
The retailer reported same-store sales, those generated from stores open for more than a year, were down 0.1 percent compared with the same nine-week sales period in 2005. Overall sales at its flagship Barnes & Noble stores rose 2.6 percent to $1.1 billion for the holidays.
Sales at B. Dalton, the company’s shopping-mall centric stores, were down 31.3 percent to $28.4 million, when compared with last year’s holiday sales. The drop is due in large part to 32 store closings that have occurred since the beginning of 2006.
Sales at BarnesandNoble.com were also down. The company’s online sales were $376.4 million, a drop of 2.4 percent from the previous year.
“Despite somewhat disappointing sales for the season in a highly promotional and competitive environment, the company expects to be in the low to middle range of its earnings per share guidance based upon post-holiday sales to date,” said CEO Steve Riggio.
At the end of October, as the holiday period began, the company attempted to help pump up sales by revamping its pay members program to offer members greater discounts on a larger number of books.
Holiday sales for rival Borders Group, the second largest U.S. bookseller, were not available at press time.