Barnes & Noble holiday revenues drop 6.6%

New York – Barnes & Noble reported decreases in revenue for both its retail and Nook segments during the nine-week 2013 holiday season as compared to the same period in the prior year. The retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores and BN.com, had revenues of $1.1 billion, decreasing 6.6% from the prior year.

Barnes & Noble said the decrease was attributable to a 5.5% decline in same-store sales and store closures. Core same-store bookstore sales, which exclude sales of Nook products, decreased 0.2% as compared to the prior year.

The Nook segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had revenues of $125 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 60.5% as compared to a year ago. Device and accessories sales were $88.7 million for the holiday period, a decrease of 66.7% from a year ago, which Barnes & Noble attributed to lower unit selling volume and lower average selling prices. Digital content sales were $36.5 million for the holiday period, a decline of 27.3% compared to a year ago due to lower device unit sales and lower average selling prices.

Despite declining revenues, Michael P. Huseby, CEO of Barnes & Noble, struck an optimistic tone in his public comments.

"We are pleased with our holiday sales results, especially our core comparable bookstore sales, which were essentially flat and an improvement as compared to the first half of the year," said Huseby. “During the holiday period we benefitted from a strong line-up of bestselling titles, great execution by our booksellers and merchants, an effective advertising campaign and strong increases in our Juvenile, Gift and Toys & Games categories. Sales in the Nook segment declined year-over-year largely because during the previous holiday season the company introduced two new tablet products, while no new tablets were introduced this year.”

Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report third quarter results on or about February 27, 2014.