Barnes & Noble has some good news and some expected news as they come out of the holiday season. The good news was that retail revenue didn't drop like it did in the past several holidays seasons, and the expected news was that B&N's digital revenues did drop.
According to the press release:
The Retail segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble bookstores and BN.com, had sales of $1.1 billion, increasing 0.2% over the prior year. Sales benefitted from the continued stabilization of physical book sales and growth in the educational toys and games and gift departments. These positive factors, together with favorable timing of the fiscal nine-week period, which ended on January 3rd this year as compared to December 28th last year, offset the sales decline from store closures. Excluding the impact of this timing difference, total Retail sales would have declined approximately 1.6% from the prior year.
The NOOK segment (including digital content, devices and accessories), had sales of $56 million for the nine-week holiday period, decreasing 55.4% as compared to a year ago. Device and accessories sales were $28.5 million, a decrease of 67.9% from a year ago. Digital content sales were $27.4 million, a decline of 25.0% compared to a year ago.
Again, that is no surprise, though it does raise the question as to who would want to invest in Nook Media when it is spun off later this year as a publicly traded company. That unit's revenues have continued to decline since the holiday quarter of 2012, a trend which hasn''t been arrested bythe additional services launched late last year.