The news still isn't good, though. Sales via B&N's stores dropped 6.6% from last year. In comparison, the 2013 holiday season showed a 10% drop from 2012. The Nook division took in $125 million in content and hardware sales, which is down from 311 million reported last holiday season.
Obviously B&N's plans of closing stores and cutting staff hours until they achieve profitability is also resulting in a drop in sales quarter after quarter, but it has yet to actually accomplish the goal of making B&N profitable.
It's also pretty obvious from the decline in digital content sales that the Nook platform is dead in the water. Whether this is going to inspire B&N to sell it or simply shut it down, I cannot say. But as anyone could have told you, B&N is going to have to do something with the Nook division this year. I don't think the current plan of ignoring it to death is terribly productive, do you?
The Press release:
Barnes & Noble, Inc today reported holiday sales for the nine-week holiday period ending December 28, 2013.
The Retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores and BN.com, had revenues of $1.1 billion, decreasing 6.6% over the prior year. The decrease was attributable to a 5.5% decline in comparable sales and store closures. Core comparable bookstore sales, which exclude sales of NOOK products, decreased 0.2% as compared to the prior year.
The NOOK segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had revenues of $125 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 60.5% as compared to a year ago. Device and accessories sales were $88.7 million for the holiday period, a decrease of 66.7% from a year ago, due to lower unit selling volume and lower average selling prices. Digital content sales were $36.5 million for the holiday period, a decline of 27.3% compared to a year ago due to lower device unit sales and lower average selling prices.
P.S. On a related note, this press release has convinced me that Apple now has a larger share of the ebook market than B&N. Apple might possibly be doing $500 million to $1 billion a year in ebook sales, and we can clearly see B&N is selling less than that.