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B&N Reports Store Revenues down, Nook Revenues Down 33% Last Quarter

4176062087_704a33b9fd_bBarnes & Noble released its fiscal quarterly report today for the period ending on 30 January, and it looks like B&N’s plan to turn things around by selling pasta and tchotchkes still hasn’t worked.

Sales for the 3rd quarter decreased 1.8%, to $1.4 billion, compared to a year ago. Third quarter EBITDA was $169.0 million, up 1.6% as compared to EBITDA of $166.4 million a year ago, and consolidated third quarter net earnings from continuing operations were $80.3 million or $1.04 per share, or about double that of the third quarter 2014.

Retail accounted for most of the decline, and was down 1.2% over all, but the Nook platform’s ongoing spiral to oblivion also hurt B&N’s bottom line:

NOOK sales of $51.7 million decreased 33.3% due primarily to lower device and content sales. NOOK EBITDA losses of $11.2 million declined $17.9 million versus the prior year as the company continues to focus on cost rationalization efforts.

Barnes & Noble is no longer breaking out the content vs hardware sales anymore for the Nook division, so it is difficult to say with any certainty that the Nook Store continues to be smaller than Kindle Unlimited.

But with Nook revenues continuing to decline, and Amazon continuing to pay out more each month to publishers and authors in Kindle Unlimited ($15 million in January 2016), we have every reason to conclude that Nook is a smaller piece of the ebook pie than Kindle Unlimited.

Nevertheless, B&N is still pleased with the Nook results.

7906052208_56da4e568d_o"We are pleased with our bookstore sales performance and the reduction of NOOK losses during the fiscal third quarter,” said Ron Boire, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “I am also pleased with the progress that has been made to reduce NOOK losses. We remain committed to providing a great digital reading experience to our customers, while exploring all opportunities to further reduce losses. Moving forward, our top priorities are growing bookstore and online sales, reducing Retail and NOOK expenses and growing our membership base."

Did you catch the bit about keeping the Nook? I had been wondering whether B&N would close the division, or perhaps sell it give it away, but apparently B&N is planning to keep the corpse in its parlor.

Edit: Or maybe not. The Nook UK store is closing on 15 March 2016.

Given how the Nook revenues have declined, that’s no big loss, but it is also a sign that B&N is still standing around, trying to decide what to do next with digital. We’ve been waiting three years for B&N to figure that out, and in that time revenues have declined by over 90%, and the Nook division has been reduced to a fraction of what it was once worth.

B&N almost spun off the division in 2014, before deciding to keep it and spin the B&N college stores off by themselves. Given the decline that followed, that proved to be a bad choice for B&N but potentially a good move for the remaining Nook users.

With the Nook worth so little, it would now be possible for either Kobo or Google to pick it up for chump change and fold the tech into their existing platforms.

It almost makes you wonder why Kobo hasn’t bought them yet, doesn’t it?

images by Todd Barnardwizardjournal


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Frank March 3, 2016 um 3:13 pm

Nate, the link to "Nook UK store closing" is an admin link, the public link is

B&N’s last year in net income in third quarter hit $72.2 million; this year it hit $80.3 million in Q3. Comparable store sales rose 0.2% and, excluding Nook products, stores were up 1.3% over last year’s third period.
So even with the Nook costing the company 11 million last quarter, it appears cheaper to keep that division, since if they sold it they would have a huge write down of 100s of millions

Nate Hoffelder March 3, 2016 um 4:11 pm

Fixed it, thanks!

Mark Ritchie March 3, 2016 um 3:16 pm

Just got an email from B&N that the USA app store is closing. They claim that the apps will still work, but no new apps can be purchased from March 15.

Robert March 3, 2016 um 5:25 pm

They’ve posted a few FAQs about this:

What is happening to the NOOK Apps category?

Root March 14, 2017 um 2:55 pm

If the B&N "college" store at USFSP in Saint Petersburg is any indication they richly deserve to go belly up and become a memory. The employee hours have been cut past the bone-only managers try to run the place now, and poorly at that. The Nook fiasco is the least of B&N’s problems. Incredibly short sighted and lame management policies are killing them a bit at a time. They will not retain competent staff and those few who remain are leaving like rats on a sinking ship.

The company seems to operate on the basis of screwing college kids on textbook prices and the hell with retail sales. Perhaps they would be wiser to attempt to sell books as opposed to sweat shirts and coffee cups… There is already a chain of JCPenneys and Big Lots.

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