Sales of Nook readers and electronic books were up for Barnes & Noble in the second quarter of fiscal 2013, but other results were a mixed bag.
For the quarter ended Oct. 27, Barnes & Noble, No. 32 in the 2012 Internet Retailer Top 500, reported:
- Nook sales, including readers, digital content and accessories, of $160.3 million, up by 5.6% from $151.8 million in Q2 2012. The company says digital content sales increased 38% for the second quarter but did not disclose specific dollar figures.
- Total sales of $1.88 billion, a decrease of 0.05% from $1.89 billion.
- Retail sales, which includes bookstores and the remaining e-commerce business, of $996.0 million, a decrease of about 2.8% from $1.025 billion.
- Comparable bookstore sales, excluding sales of Nook products, increased 1.8%.
- Net loss of $575,000 compared with a net loss of $6.6 million in the prior year quarter.
“We expect our two highly acclaimed new Nook products, and our Microsoft partnership on Windows 8 to further fuel the growth of our digital business, and are encouraged by the promising start to the holidays in our retail and digital businesses,” says William Lynch, CEO.
The two new Nook devices, Nook HD and Nook HD+, began shipping after the close of the company’s fiscal second quarter. A business arrangement between Barnes & Noble and Microsoft Corp. led to the formation of Nook Media LLC in April. Microsoft made a $300 million investment in Barnes & Noble’s digital reading and college business in exchange for a roughly 17.6% interest in the newly formed subsidiary company.
Barnes & Noble says its Nook unit sales doubled over the four-day Thanksgiving holiday shopping weekend, based on sales data from its channel partners, compared to the same period last year. The company did not disclose further metrics but noted the growth was driven by increased promotional activity by its partners, particularly Walmart and Target. Retail comparable sales, which exclude sales of Nook products, declined slightly over the holiday weekend, the company says.
For the first six months:
- Nook sales of $352.3 million, an increase of 2.6% from $343.3 million.
- Total sales of $3.34 billion, up by 0.9% from $3.31 billion.
- Retail sales were $2.115 billion, down by 0.38% from $2.123 billion.
- Comparable-store sales for the period were not reported.
- Net loss of $41.6 million compared with a net loss of $63.2 million in the prior year period.