Aggressive Marketing Drives Barnes & Noble’s Upbeat Winter Holiday Sales

Books can be a big seller if marketed correctly — especially during the winter holidays. Barnes & Noble apparently got the memo.

The national bookseller March 7 reported third-quarter (ended Jan. 26) net income of $66.9 million, marking a significant fiscal turnaround for the chain, which posted a loss of $63.5 million during the previous-year period. Revenue was flat at $1.23 billion.

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Meanwhile, the Nook segment, which includes electronic readers and tablets, in addition to digital content (movies, TV shows, music), saw revenue decline 22% to $24.3 million from $30.9 million last year. The operating loss increased 330% to $4.3 million from a loss of $1.3 million.

“In fiscal 2019, we have been focused on growing the top line, which contributed to our best holiday in years,” Len Riggio, founder and chairman, said in a statement. “Sales benefited from our new ad campaign, increased marketing and promotions, and an improved omni-channel experience for our customers. We believe these efforts are laying the foundation for sustained growth.”

 

 

 

 

Barnes & Noble Upbeat Entering Key Winter Retail Period

National bookseller Barnes & Noble Nov. 20 reported second-quarter (ended Oct. 27) operating loss of $1.5 million for its Nook business unit – down 48% from an operating loss of $2.9 million during the previous-year period. Revenue dropped nearly 17% to $21.7 million from $25.9 million last year.

The Nook segment, which includes electronic readers and tablets, in addition to digital content (movies, TV shows, music), continues to a bright spot for Barnes & Noble. The last-standing national bookstore chain continues to grapple with a changing consumer habits underscored by online entertainment and ecommerce.

Even better, legacy retail sales – which include packaged media – improved with operating loss of $26.7 million compared to an operating loss of $49.43 million last year. Revenue dipped about 2% to $753.2 million.

Chairman of the board Len Riggio, who took over control of the company following the firing of CEO Demos Parneros for alleged inappropriate behavior in the workplace, said the same-store sales decline of 1.4% was the best result since Q4 in 2016.

“While we cannot predict the outcome of the holiday, we are putting our full effort behind our holiday plans, including launching a new ad campaign,” Riggio said in a statement. “We expect this to lead to continued sales improvement during the holiday period.”

Barnes & Noble Widens Q1 Loss

Barnes & Noble Sept. 6 reported a first-quarter (ended July 28) net loss of $17 million, up 70% from a net loss of $10.7 million during the previous-year period. Revenue dropped 7% to $794 million from $853 million last year.

The national bookseller’s Nook business, which includes digital media such as TV shows and movies, narrowed its operating loss to $330,000 from an operating loss of $2.7 million last year. Revenue dropped 14% to $25.2 million from $29.5 million last year.

“We fully realize that cutting expenses does not alone provide a path to the long-term viability of any retail business. Therefore, our short and long-term focus is to grow our top line, and, by doing so, provide us the cash flow needed to grow our business,” CEO Len Riggiosaid in a statement.

Riggio said comparable store sales continue to sequentially improve each month and continued into the second quarter. Indeed, same-store sales declines narrowed each month in the fiscal quarter from 7.8%, 6.1% and 4.5%, respectively.

“Thanks are due to our team of merchants and the entire store management group from top to bottom,” he said.

 

Barnes & Noble Nook Narrows Fiscal Loss

National bookseller Barnes & Noble June 21 reported that its Nook unit generated a fourth-quarter (ended April 28) operating loss of $1.5 million, compared to an operating loss of $7.9 million during the previous-year period. Revenue declined 22% to $25 million from $31.9 million last year.

The Nook segment, which includes electronic readers and tablets, in addition to digital content sales, was the lone bright spot for Barnes & Noble. The last-standing national bookstore chain continues to grapple with a changing consumer inundated with online entertainment, books and ecommerce.

Net income ballooned to $21 million on revenue of $786 million. That compared with a loss of $13.4 million and revenue of $821 million last year.

“In fiscal 2018, we developed a long-term strategic turnaround plan, which we continue to execute,” CEO Demos Parneros said in a statement. “Our plan, which includes sales improvements and cost reductions, is expected to yield immediate improvement in fiscal 2019, resulting in [pre-tax earnings] of $175 million to $200 million, and further benefits in the following years.

Indeed, excluding non-recurring or unusual charges in both years, consolidated pre-tax earnings topped $6.7 million in Q4, as compared to $5.6 million a year ago, and $145.4 million in fiscal 2018, as compared to $187.2 million a year ago.

The company reduced expenses by $15 million in the quarter and $52 million for the full year, excluding non-recurring or unusual charges.

“Turnaround plans take time; and while our performance has been somewhat disappointing, we began to make steady progress in fiscal ’18,” said Parneros.