December 10, 2010, 3:38 PM

Borders’ web sales were down in the third quarter

But the bookseller’s year-to-date e-commerce sales are up by 24%.

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Borders Group Inc.’s revenue, including online, declined in the third quarter of 2010.

For the quarter ended Oct. 30, Borders reported:

  • E-commerce sales at Borders.com, which is operated by Borders Direct, No. 194 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, of $12.5 million, a decrease of about 8.6% from about $13.6 million in Q3 of 2009.
  • Total sales were $470.9 million, down by 17.6% from $571.4 million in the same period a year ago.
  • Comparable-store sales declined by 12.6%.
  • Net loss was $74.4 million, compared with a net loss of $37.7 million in the prior year quarter.
  • More than 580,000 customers have signed up for the Borders Rewards Plus program that launched Sept. 1, generating more than $11 million in membership revenue, the retailer says.

Based on Internet Retailer calculations, the web accounted for 2.7% of sales in Q3, compared with 2.4% in Q3 of 2009.

The company invested in Borders.com in the third quarter, “redesigning the site  and adding a number of services, which we are confident will greatly enhance the customer experience,” says Mike Edwards, CEO. “We see Borders.com as an extension of our bricks-and-mortar business, and we'll continue to make prudent investments in the site, not to displace our stores, but rather to support and enhance the in-store experience.”

For the first nine months of 2010, Borders reported:

  • Borders.com sales were $43.3 million, a 24% increase from $34.9 million year over year. The company attributes web sales growth to improvements to its web site features and functions.
  • Total sales of $1.51 billion, down by about 15.2% from $1.78 billion.
  • Comparable-store sales declined by 10.2%.
  • Net loss was $185.2 million, compared with a net loss of $169.3 million.

Based on Internet Retailer calculations, the web accounted for 2.9% of sales through the first nine months of 2010, compared with 2% in the prior year period.

Earlier this week, Borders’ shareholders offered to fund the acquisition of rival bookseller Barnes & Noble Inc. (No. 42),   which would result in the merger of the two leading bookselling chains.

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