January 7, 2011, 4:58 PM

It was a Merry Christmas online for Barnes & Noble

Driven by Nook, web holiday sales rose year over year 67%.

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It was a merry beginning—and end—online to the Christmas shopping season for Barnes & Noble Inc.

For the nine-week holiday shopping period ended Jan. 1, Barnes & Noble, No. 42 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, reported:

  • Sales for BarnesandNoble.com rose year over year 67% to $228.5 million from about $136.5 million in the prior year.
  • Total store sales increased 8.2% to $1.10 billion from about $1.017 billion in the prior year.
  • Comparable store-sales increased 9.7%.

Though Barnes & Noble didn’t release any specific numbers, most of the increase in holiday sales came from strong consumer demand for Nook the company’s electronic book reading device. Versions of Nook that displayed content in color were especially sought after, the retailer says.

“The company sold virtually its entire inventory of devices during the holiday season while exceeding its sales plan for accessories associated with the Nook product line,” says CEO William Lynch. ”Nook’s popularity is helping to drive new sales at both our stores and online, where 60% of Nook color owners are new customers of our Barnes & Noble digital bookstore.”

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