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Barnes & Noble’s Revenue Fell 2.5% in Fiscal Q2 2019

Barnes & Noble just released their last quarterly report before entering the holiday season, and the news was not good. Revenues fell 2.5%. Total sales for the second quarter were $771 million in the quarter ending 27 October, with comparable store sales declining 1.4%.

B&N is going in to the holiday season with weak sales, but that is okay if they can turn their fortunes around. This was the second full quarter since B&N fired its receiving managers, and it’s going to be the quarter that makes or breaks the company.

I predicted they would file for bankruptcy in January, and their past quarterly reports have given me no reason to change my mind.

Press release:

Barnes & Noble today reported sales and earnings for its fiscal 2019 second quarter ended October 27, 2018.

Total sales for the second quarter were $771 million, declining 2.5% as compared to the prior year. Comparable store sales declined 1.4%, the Company’s best quarterly performance since the fourth quarter of fiscal 2016.

“We saw significant improvement in our second quarter performance, especially notable in our comparable store sales,” said Len Riggio, Chairman of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “While we cannot predict the outcome of the holiday, we are putting our full effort behind our holiday plans, including launching a new ad campaign. We expect this to lead to continued sales improvement during the holiday period.”

The consolidated second quarter operating loss was $26.8 million, as compared to the prior year operating loss of $52.2 million, benefiting largely from expense reductions. The consolidated second quarter EBITDA loss was $2.3 million, as compared to a loss of $25.0 million a year ago, an improvement of $22.7 million over the prior year.

The consolidated second quarter net loss was $27.4 million, or $0.38 per share, as compared to a loss of $30.1 million, or $0.41 per share, in the prior year.


For fiscal 2019, the Company continues to expect EBITDA to be in a range of $175 million to $200 million, excluding unusual or non-recurring items.

Conference Call

A conference call with Barnes & Noble, Inc.’s senior management will be webcast beginning at 10:00 A.M. ET on Tuesday, November 20, 2018, and is accessible at

Barnes & Noble, Inc. will report third quarter earnings on or about February 28, 2019.

image by Elvert Barnes via Flickr

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Paul November 20, 2018 um 2:44 pm

Its such a shame that they have totally blown any opportunity they had with Borders collapsing (which was also due to poor management).

And I’m getting increasingly concerned about Sears (another company that vulture funds helped wreck)

Brian November 20, 2018 um 6:23 pm

When is your prediction for the end? I work at a B&N and I see and feel the stresses of the company daily. The customers can see it, too.

Nate Hoffelder November 20, 2018 um 6:34 pm

I think the crisis will come when the board looks at the holiday sales report in early January.

Brian November 20, 2018 um 6:54 pm

I agree. Some of us at my store are bracing for that January report. Not to be surprised as we were with the layoffs earlier this year.

DaveMich November 20, 2018 um 11:43 pm

It’s not feasible to continue to pay dividends out of the credit line.

Mike Cane November 21, 2018 um 7:32 am

And what’s Plan B for the Dinosaurs of Print when there’s no more B&N? Indie stores? Writers begging on the streets?

I doubt it will involve dropping the price of eBooks! Idiots.

Paul November 21, 2018 um 8:54 am

It will be like every other luxury product. Exclusive boutiques for the well off, Walmart (i.e. ebooks) for everyone else.

The same dichotomy will hit authors too. A small group will be able to charge quite a bit for their books, the vast majority will not.

BJ Wanlund November 24, 2018 um 10:16 am

Well I’d spend more money at B&N if they a) didn’t charge an arm and a leg for the items I really wanted to buy, and b) gave their paying members more than one measly coupon every so often. Used to be you would get 2 coupons for an extra 20% off any item (with restrictions), plus a few other coupons for whatever they were promoting in that mailing. Now it’s ONE coupon for an extra 20% off and even then I feel like it’s B&N cheaping out horribly. I wasn’t going to pay another $25 for the next year last year but I did. This year the bloom is off the rose and unless B&N steps up their coupon game (probably not), I will probably not be renewing my B&N membership when it lapses. Unfortunately, they used to have better member coupons and I feel like that $25 a year is becoming a harder and harder sell the worse B&N does.

Don DeBon November 26, 2018 um 12:51 pm

Slight typo there as the headline says "Barnes & Noble’s Revenue Fell 2.5% in Fiscal Q2 2019" so a tad in the future. I’m surprised no one else noticed/mentioned. At first I thought the article was a Aprils fools joke in November.

Nate Hoffelder November 26, 2018 um 2:24 pm

it was the fiscal quarter, not calendar quarter – see the press release

Brian Shea November 26, 2018 um 4:33 pm

It is Fiscal Q2 2019. Back when B&N and B&N Education merged as one company, our Fiscal Year ends in April. Thus May of 2018 began the Fiscal Year of 2019 for B&N

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