Barnes & Noble Sales Drop 8%

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NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE:BKS), the nation’s largest bookstore chain, reported sales and earnings for its fiscal 2017 third quarter ended January 28, 2017.

Total sales for the third quarter were $1.3 billion, down 8.0% compared to the prior year. Retail sales, which include Barnes & Noble stores and BN.com, declined 7.5% to $1.3 billion for the quarter. Comparable store sales declined 8.3% for the quarter largely due to lower traffic, as well as the decline in coloring books, artist supplies and last year’s best-selling album by Adele, which collectively accounted for nearly one third of the sales decline. Online sales increased 2.2% for the period.

The chain has been hurt by declining traffic at stores, especially at mall locations due to fewer customers shopping and visiting.

NOOK sales, which include digital content, devices and accessories, declined 25.7% to $38.4 million for the quarter.

Third quarter net earnings were $70.3 million, compared to the prior year net earnings of $80.3 million. For the quarter, Retail generated operating income of $135.0 million, while NOOK incurred an operating loss of $6.2 million, for a total operating income of $128.8 million.

Shares in the company are trading near an all-time-low.

Barnes & Noble operates 634 stores in all 50 states.