B&N Reports Store Sales Flat Over Holiday Season, Digital Down

barnes noble logoBarnes & 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.

Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Robert8 January, 2015

    They seem to have given up on hardware in the stores. The kiosk is still there but I never saw it manned over the holidays the few times I stopped in. The Samsung tablets are nice enough but those Nook Glows look pretty bad these days. Their in-store kiosks look old, beat-up, and half-full. If they don’t care, why should any customers?

  2. Paul8 January, 2015

    Their prices for ebooks are not very competitive .

  3. fjtorres8 January, 2015

    $28.5M in hardware sales suggestes they moved 100K tablets, no?
    Only 900K to go.

  4. Geoffrey Kidd8 January, 2015

    I dropped my magazine subscriptions the day they dropped being able to download my purchases via my browser. Their PC ereader program is clumsy and slow.

    I haven’t bought a thing from them in months. People who object to being treated by retail outlets as THEIR property are not good material for B&N’s approach to eBooks.

  5. […] I reported on Barnes & Noble's latest revenue report yesterday I noted that the drastic decline in digital revenues could impair B&N's plans to spin off Nook […]

  6. […] year, and that means they will need to pitch it to outside investors. And with digital revenues declining by 50% each period, B&N can't pitch Nook Media based on growth, so they'll have to pitch its diverse offering of […]

  7. […] that plan was derailed by the quarter after quarter of declining digital revenues, resulting in a company which no one would want to invest in, so B&N is instead going to split […]

  8. […] B&N's holiday sales weren't declining in the past five holiday seasons, they were flat, but that hasn't stopped them from putting on a brave face last […]


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