Financial results in fiscal 1999 were disappointing, Clyde Anderson, president and CEO of Books-A-Million, wrote in his letter to shareholders in the company's 1999 annual report. Anderson reiterated that poor comparable-store sales, which fell 2.8% in the year (News, Mar. 28), were largely responsible for the lackluster sales and earnings performance.

The company finished the year with 179 stores, composed of 130 superstores, 27 combination stores and 22 traditional bookstores. BAM spent $15.7 million on capital expenditures last year and expects to spend $14 million this year. The funds will go toward the projected opening of 15 new stores in the year as well as to installing a new point-of-sale information system.

Although the company said its Web site was well received when it was launched in November, BAM provided no details on sales or the number of titles carried by the site. The company reported that it plans to go forward with the site, expanding the number of products offered, and noted that in January it completed the acquisition of NetCentral, the Internet company that developed the new