September 7, 2010, 2:21 PM

The web was the sole bright spot for Borders in Q2

Total revenue and comparable-store sales fell, but the web grew 58%.

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Total revenue and comparable-store sales fell for Borders Group Inc. in the second quarter, but there was a bright spot: e-commerce.

For the second quarter ended July 31, Borders Direct, No. 194 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, recorded:

  • An increase in web sales of about 58.2% to $15.5 million from $9.8 million in the second quarter of 2009.
  • Total sales decreased 11.9% to $530.4 million from $601.8 million in the prior year.
  • Comparable-store sales decreased 6.8%.
  • Net loss was $46.7 million compared with a net loss of $45.6 million in the second quarter of 2009.

“While we continue to succeed in strengthening our financial structure, we are highly focused on driving profitable sales and increasing market share,” says CEO Mike Edwards. “Recognizing that online and digital will be a significant part of our business moving forward, we are focused on increasing our share of the e-book market by growing our digital offerings to position Borders as the preferred destination for digital reading.”

Internet Retailer calculates the web accounted for 2.9% of total sales compared with 1.6% in the second quarter of 2009.

While it didn’t break out year-to-date web sales, Borders for the first two quarters reported:

  • Total sales declined 13.2% to $1.05 billion from $1.21 billion.
  • Net loss was $110.8 million compared with a net loss of $131.6 million in the first two quarters of 2009.

Borders is taking several steps to increase its e-commerce and electronic books business. Borders recently lowered the price of the Kobo and Libre Pro electronic book readers to $129 and $99.99, respectively, and launched new initiatives, such as Borders Textbook Marketplace, which features more than 1.4 million titles and a textbook buyback option.

“Borders is now an industry authority on digital content and devices,” says Edwards. “We offer a large assortment of e-readers at price points that fit with most budgets and we are exploring adding new devices and brands in the fourth quarter as part of our device-neutral strategy. As our newly launched e-book store and mobile apps gain traction, we believe we hold a strong growth position within a digital ecosphere that is rapidly evolving and expanding.”

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