Barnes & Noble's quarterly filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission for the period ended October 31 was its first since the purchase of Barnes & Noble College Booksellers was completed and gives a little more detail on how each business segment fared in the larger B&N. In the filing, B&N also disclosed a small acquisition—it paid $2.3 million for Tikatok, an online platform geared to allow parents and children to write, illustrate, and publish their own books.
In the quarter, the college stores added $65.3 million since the deal was completed on September 30. Barnes & Noble.com had a good quarter with sales up 9.4%, to $120.5 million, and it too benefited from an acquisition, the March purchase of Fictionwise, which returned B&N to the e-bookstore market. In addition to the sale of e-books, B&N said the BN.com sales increase was due to higher traffic to the site. Sales through its superstores fell 2.2% because of a 3.2% decline in same-store sales plus a $20.8 million decrease in sales from closed stores. New stores added $28.3 million to revenues. Dalton's sales dropped 26.7%, primarily due to the closing of 21 outlets. B&N expects to close all of its Dalton stores in early 2010. B&N's publishing unit, Sterling Publishing, had a 16.3% decline in sales in the quarter.
The acquisition of Tikatok moves B&N ever so modestly back into the self-publishing field. (The company was an early investor in iUniverse). Tikatok, founded in 2007, provides tools for parents to help children create books on the Tikatok Web site (tikatok.com). According to the site, costs for producing a title start at $18 for a hardcover and $15 for a paperback with the final cost dependent on number of pages and shipping method. All e-books are $2.99. B&N said the purchase of Tikatok “is part of its overall digital strategy,” and plans to expand its reach “to additional parents, educators and librarians.”
Barnes & Noble Second-Quarter Sales by Segment
|Source: Barnes & Nobles 10-Q |