November 28, 2007, 12:00 AM

A new look and hot sellers boost e-commerce sales at Barnes & Noble

A newly redesigned web site and the release of the fastest-selling teen novel in the history of the company helped Barnes & Noble grow its overall and e-commerce sales in the third quarter. E-commerce sales rose year over year by 13%.

A newly redesigned web site and the release of the fastest-selling teen novel in the history of the company helped Barnes & Noble Inc. grow its overall and e-commerce sales in the third quarter.

In Q3, Barnes & Noble grew its web sales to $108.2 million, an increase of 13% from e-commerce revenue of $95.8 million in the prior year. Overall Barnes & Noble, No. 33 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, posted net income of $4.3 million on sales of $1.17 billion vs. a net loss of $2.8 million on sales of $1.11 billion in the third quarter of 2006.

“We were pleasantly surprised when the third quarter opened quite strong with the release of Stephanie Meyer`s ‘Eclipse,’ which became the fastest-selling teen novel in our history,” says CEO Steve Riggio. “Following the enormous publicity generated by J.K. Rowling`s ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows,’ we were frankly prepared for the book business to return to a relatively quiet period.”

Barnes & Noble also credited a site redesign with boosting sales in the quarter. The redesign emphasizes faster search, more interactive content and enhanced social networking. For instance, a new feature – See Inside – allows visitors and readers to read digital chapters from more than 10,000 books on BarnesandNoble.com and search for specific words and phrases. Eventually all titles listed on the site will be included, the book retailer says. “We are encouraged by the sales trends at BarnesandNoble.com that began earlier this year and continued through the third quarter, in which we launched a newly designed web site,” Riggio says.

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