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Barnes & Noble Winter Holiday Store Sales Drop 9%

5 Jan, 2017 By: Erik Gruenwedel

Barnes & Noble Jan. 5 said same-store sales fell 9.1% in the nine-week winter holiday retail period ended Dec. 31, 2016, compared with the previous-year period.

The national bookseller, which includes Nook Digital Business (and Nook Video), said online sales increased 2%. 

Not surprisingly, the chain, which competes with Amazon for physical and digital media, attributed the decline to lower foot traffic in stores and unfavorable year-over-year comparisons with Adele’s top-selling music CD in 2015.

Indeed, “25” ranks the most-successful music CD in Barnes & Noble’s history — the lack of a comparable release in 2016 accounting for about 30% of the chain’s sales decline.

“Although books outperformed the company as a whole, we were not pleased with our results,” CEO Len Riggio said in a statement, adding post-holiday traffic and sales have improved.

“We believe this most unusual retail season may be behind us,” he said.

Barnes & Noble, which reports financial results March 2, revised its fiscal 2017 pre-tax earnings, which are now expected to be approximately $225 million. Nook’s pre-tax loss is expected to be about $25 million, which includes previously announced transitional costs.

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