New York-based bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. reported store sales dropped 3 percent to $1 billion and comparable store sales were down 1.6 percent for the first quarter ended July 30. While traditional physical book sales declined during the quarter, the stores posted large increases in sales of the NOOK product line and Toys & Games.
Online sales jumped 37 percent, with comparable sales increasing 65 percent, driven by strong demand for the NOOK product line. The retailer’s total sales for the quarter were $1.4 billion, an increase of 2 percent compared to the prior year.
“Our strategy of growing market share in the exploding digital content business while maximizing cash flow and EBITDA from our retail operations is paying off,” says ceo William Lynch. “We plan to continue investing in the significant growth areas of our business, and in fiscal 2012, we expect to see leverage as our digital sales growth is projected to exceed the growth of investment spend. Additionally, the return on investment is expected to increase in future years, as readers purchase increasing amounts of digital content on the platform we have built.”
For the full fiscal year 2012, consolidated sales are forecasted to be $7.4 billion and comparable store sales are expected to increase 2 to 3 percent.