B&N just released sales figures for the nine-week holiday period ending December 29, 2012. The company’s retail segment, which is made up of B&N bookstores and BN.com businesses, had revenues of $1.2 billion, decreasing 10.9% over the prior year. The decrease was because of an 8.2% decline in store sales, store closures, and lower online sales. Sales of NOOK products in the retail segment declined during the holiday period, as well.
The NOOK segment, which makes up the company’s digital business—including readers, digital content and accessories—had revenues of $311 million for the holiday period, decreasing 12.6% as compared to a year ago. However, digital content sales increased 13.1%, while NOOK device unit sales declined compared to the prior year. Digital content sales include digital books, digital newsstand, and the apps business.
From the press release: “We entered the holiday with two great new products, NOOK HD and NOOK HD+, both highly rated media tablets of phenomenal quality,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “NOOK device sales got off to a good start over the Black Friday period, but then fell short of expectations for the balance of holiday. We are examining the root cause of the December shortfall in sales, and will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward.”
As a result of the poor NOOK sales, B&N expects NOOK Media revenues of about $3 billion and NOOK segment to run a loss.