NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble, the nation’s largest bookstore chain, continues to struggle as it reported total sales for the second quarter of $858.5 million, down 4.0% from the prior year. The company blamed the Presidential election for lower sales.
Retail sales, which include Barnes & Noble stores and BN.com, declined 3.5% to $830.7 million for the quarter. Comparable store sales declined 3.2% on lower store traffic, which was partly offset by the release of Harry Potter and the Cursed Child. NOOK sales, which include digital content, devices and accessories, declined 19.4% to $35.0 million for the quarter.
The company’s net loss for the quarter was $20.4 million, compared to a loss of $27.2 million last year.
Shares in the company closed Wednesday at $12.95 up $0.30.
“While we are pleased to have improved our performance due to expense reductions, we did experience sluggish sales, which we believe are directly related to the election cycle,” said Len Riggio, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble, Inc. “With the election behind us, we hope and expect sales will improve over the holidays.”
Barnes & Noble operates 638 bookstores in all 50 states.