After giving a preliminary report earlier this week about strong holiday gains, this morning Barnes & Noble gave a more detailed presentation, cited huge increases at Barnes & Noble.com and solid gains at its trade bookstores. While the increases were led by sales of Nookcolor and related digital products, B&N said that sales of physical books, especially hardcovers, exceeded expectations.
Same store sales at B&N.com jumped 78% for the nine-week holiday period ended January 1 driven by sales of devices and e-books. Total sales at B&N.com rose 67% in the period, to $228.5 million. The company said it sold “virtually its entire inventory of Nookcolor and E-Ink devices during the holiday season.”
At the trade stores, sales increased 8.2% over the prior year period to $1.1 billion, with comp store sales up 9.7%, the best comp store sales performance in more than a decade, B&N said. December 23 was the biggest sales day in the company’s history and helped to drive a 12.8% increase in December comp sales. In addition to strong Nook product line sales and higher print book sales, sales in B&N’s Toys & Games department rose 48% during the holiday period.
Commenting on the results, B&N CEO William Lynch stated: “Nookcolor was one of the most sought-after gifts this holiday season and has quickly become the bestselling device at Barnes & Noble. And, even more encouraging to us, Nook’s popularity is helping to drive new sales at both our stores and online, where 60% of Nookcolor owners are new customers of our Barnes & Noble digital bookstore.”