Total sales at Barnes &Noble rose 9.3% in the first quarter ended May 1, 1999, to $718.3 million. The sales gain was led by B&N's superstores, where sales increased 12.7% to $621 million. B&N attributed the improvement to additional stores as well as to a 5.4% increase in comparable store sales. As previously reported, sales at jumped 259% in the period to $32.3 million (News, May 10), although the net loss increased to $20.2 million from $9.5 million in the first quarter of 1998.

Although B&N's retail business posted net earnings of $5.4 million in the quarter, a number of factors resulted in a consolidated net loss of $5.9 million. B&N took a one-time charge of $4.5 million in the period due to an accounting change and also absorbed its share of's quarterly loss.