The book retailer Barnes & Noble this morning reported dismal holiday sales in a stark report that has to make investors and industry observers worried about the company's future.
The bookseller's retail segment, the company's bookstores and BN.com businesses, saw revenue fall 10.9 percent to $1.2 billion. Store sales fell 8.2 percent which the company blamed on store closings, as well as lower online sales – an area of concern when online sales elsewhere are at record highs.
But the worst news involves NOOK sales, which the company said declined 3.1 percent in the holiday period.
"NOOK device sales got off to a good start over the Black Friday period, but then fell short of expectations for the balance of holiday. We are examining the root cause of the December shortfall in sales, and will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward."
The company revised its NOOK Media revenue forecast to "approximately $3 billion, with earnings for the unit around the same levels as fiscal year 2012 when the company reported losses. The company's fiscal year ends at the end of April.
In fiscal year 2012 Barnes & Noble reported total revenue at $7.1 billion, and EBITDA at $171.4 million, which was up 5 percent over fiscal year 2011 levels.