Sales in Books-A-Million's core book operation were “down slightly” in the year ended February 2, 2008, the company said in its annual report. Total revenue at BAM rose 2.9% in the year, to $535.1 million. Commercial fiction was one of BAM's strongest performing categories, while the retailer saw “positive sales trends in teen, graphic novels and our Faithpoint inspirational book category.” The bargain book and gifts segment also had solid gains, and BAM said that toys and games are emerging “as an exciting growth opportunity.”
BAM opened nine new stores and closed seven last year, finishing with 184 superstores and 24 traditional stores. In October it said it hoped to open between 15 and 20 new stores this year. The annual report said BAM still intends to grow “somewhat faster in the year ahead with an eye toward filling in our existing real estate footprint and expanding to high growth markets.” The report, however, did not give any indication of how many outlets it will open this year, and the letter to shareholders signed by president Sandy Cochran and executive chairman Clyde Anderson closed by noting: “we see a challenging year ahead as we face the economic headwinds that have developed in recent months. We remain focused on the fundamentals of our business and committed to a disciplined approach to delivering results.” One of the fundamentals of BAM's business is co-op, and the company reported that it received “vendor reimbursements” of $1.7 million in 2007 to help offset advertising costs of $3.8 million.