Barnes & Noble Third-Quarter Sales Drop
Barnes & Noble Inc. reported $1.1 billion in sales for its third quarter, a 4.4-percent decrease compared to the same quarter last year. Store sales decreased 4.4 percent to $971 million, while sales at BN.com increased two percent to $109 million.
"A significant drop-off in customer traffic and consumer spending impacted our business in the third quarter," says Steve Riggio, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble Inc. "In a challenging environment with a comparable store sales decline of 4.6 percent this year, the company has aggressively managed expenses to operate profitably. Furthermore, the company is taking measures to reduce expenses for the balance of this year and next.
"On a positive note," continues Riggio, "our gross margins continue to hold up well. We have scrupulously avoided driving unprofitable top-line sales growth with additional coupon promotions and extra discounting. Additionally, the company remains focused on producing cash flow. We are managing our working capital efficiently, which is evident in the reduction of $107 million of inventory compared to last year. The company expects to have no borrowings at year end under its $850 million revolving credit facility. Maintaining a strong balance sheet remains a major priority in this negative economic cycle."
Barnes & Noble's best-selling titles during the third quarter included Stieg Larsson's "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo," Alice Schroeder's "The Snowball," Thomas L. Friedman's "Hot, Flat and Crowded," Maya Angelou's "Letter to My Daughter" and Vince Flynn's "Extreme Measures."
For the fourth quarter, the company expects comparable sales at Barnes & Noble stores to decline six percent to nine percent, and full-year store sales to decline five percent to six percent.