April 7, 2010, 12:00 AM

Borders logged a 32.2% web sales increase in fiscal 2009

Retail bookseller Borders Group reported web sales of $60.4 million for fiscal 2009, a 32.2% increase from $45.7 million in 2008. Total sales were down by 13.7%, compared to the prior year.

Mark Brohan

Research Director

Last year was a tough one, but Borders Group Inc. still managed to grow web sales in fiscal 2009, and management promises to expand e-commerce.

For the year ended Jan. 30, 2010, Borders reported:

  • Web sales were $60.4 million, a 32.2% increase from $45.7 million in 2008. Borders operated Borders.com for eight months of 2008 after ending a long-standing agreement for Amazon.com to operate Borders’ online store.
  • Total sales were $2.26 billion, a 13.7% decrease from $2.62 billion in 2008. The decrease was driven by declining comparable-store sales of $367.5 million, the company says.
  • Other revenue totaled $26.0 million, down by 1.9% from $26.5 million. This decline was mainly attributed to the end of referral fees received from Amazon as part of the web site agreement, partially offset by increased wholesale revenue earned through sales of merchandise to other retailers and from franchisees, says Borders, No. 212 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide.
  • Comparable-store sales declined 14.4% and 8.1% in the Borders and Waldenbooks segments, respectively.
  • Net loss was $109.4 million, compared with a net loss of $186.7 million in 2008.

Based on Internet Retailer calculations, the web represented 2.7% of sales in fiscal 2009, compared with 1.7% in 2008.


“Based on the sales volume we are experiencing on Borders.com relative to our competitors, it is clear that we have a significant and potential large upside,” says interim CEO Mike Edwards. “That is why we are investing and improving the customer interface, checkout and search capabilities.”

For the fourth quarter of fiscal 2009, Borders reported:

  • Total sales at Borders superstores in the fourth quarter were $723.1 million, down 14.2% from a year ago. Borders did not break out fourth quarter web sales.
  • Comparable-store sales in the fourth quarter declined 14.0% and 8.5% in the Borders and Waldenbooks segments, respectively.
  • Net income was $59.9 million, compared with $29.6 million in the same period a year ago.



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