Nook sales decreased approximately 24% for both the quarter and the full year on lower content volume, as well as lower device sale. Both, digital content and ecommerce sales benefited in the current year from the Apple eBook settlement and customers using their credits. One thing that was surprising about their latest financial figures was that Nook losses decreased from $47.3 million to $17.3 million. CEO Demos Parneros said that “we remain committed to reducing Nook losses further in fiscal ’18.”
Barnes and Noble experienced reported that total sales were $821 million for the quarter and $3.9 billion for the full year, decreasing 6.3% and 6.5% over the prior year periods, respectively. Comparable store sales declined 6.3% for both the fourth quarter and full year. Online sales increased 2.9% for the quarter and 3.7% for the full year.
During the earnings call CEO Demos Parneros is bullish about the future of Nook and the bookstores. “Over the past six months I’ve spent a lot of time visiting stores and meeting with our booksellers and customers. During those visits I’ve heard a lot of valuable feedback on the things that we do well along with some areas that we can do better. Most importantly, I learned that customers love and trust the Barnes & Noble brand; it all begins with this premise which provides a solid foundation to build from.
We are well aware of the challenges that the company and the industry have faced to; we view these challenges as great opportunities. There is no question retail is changing and customers are shopping differently. We don’t view this as a winning or losing proposition, it’s just simply changing. Barnes & Noble has a rich history of evolution beginning with the transition from small format, small stores to large super stores to competing online and launching our own digital platform. As a company we have and continue to evolve, providing customers the ability to shop however they choose.
There is no doubt the customers have a love affair with their book stores, and more specifically with their local Barnes & Noble store. They want their book store to be there for them, we just need to continue to evolve the experience and make it better for them. There are a lot of areas to examine within the store to stay current with today’s market and today’s shopping behaviors. Today’s consumer wants to shop their way whether it’s a store, online, or using their mobile device. Our goal is to deliver great shopping experience regardless of which in turn they choose. To accomplish this we’re examining every aspect of the business and our customer’s value proposition. And value proposition process includes our membership, convenience, the fact that we have physical stores, service, and at the heart of it all, our dedicated book sellers.
As we continue to pursue the next stage of growth, we are examining everything with an open minded view. Our new test stores are good example of this. We launched three test stores over the past year and continue to receive great feedback from our customers and book sellers. These test stores are smaller than our average store and feature a more intuitive store layout. They have better adjacencies and expanded food and hospitality offering and more omni-integration including an applicant health guide customers vocation of a specific book, mobile checkout and advanced digital kiosk to help service customers.”
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.