The addition of new college stores offset a decline in comparable store sales resulting in a 0.6% increase in revenue at Barnes & Noble Education for the second quarter of fiscal 2016 that ended October 31, 2015 compared to last year’s second period. Net income, however, fell 9.4%, to $33.4 million. Total revenue in the quarter was $755.9 million.
The second quarter, which includes the fall bakc-to-school rush, was the first period that B&N Education reported stand alone results since separating from Barnes & Noble. Inc. CEO Max Roberts noted that the company opened seven new stores in the quarter with estimated annual sales of $6.6 million. B&N Education also was awarded contracts for 10 more stores with sales of about $13 million, Roberts said.
Comparable sales decreased 3.0% during the quarter and were down 1.9% year to date. “This fall rush period was negatively impacted by student enrollments, specifically in two year community colleges. Enrollments in our two year community colleges are down mid-single digits year over year which resulted in comparable sales in these schools decreasing by approximately 7%,” Roberts said in a statement. Comparable store sales excluding two year community colleges decreased by 1.3% for the quarter and 0.2% year to date. B&N Education said it expects enrollment trends to improve in the coming years.
The stongest gains in the quarter was in apparel where comp sales rose 1.3% for the quarter. “During the fall rush season, school and computer supplies make up a higher percentage of our general merchandise sales and have been impacted by the decrease in enrollment and have not experienced the consistent growth of emblematic apparel,” explained Roberts.
With the decline in second quarter comparable store sales, B&N Education revised its predictions for the full fiscal year. It now expects comp store sales to be flat to down 2.0% from a previous forecast of up about 1.0%.