Barnes & Noble spent $30.9 million in capital expenditures in the first quarter ended May 1, 1999, double the amount it spent in last year's first period.

The company attributed the increase to the accelerated implementation of B&N's point-of-sale system, BookMaster. The chain began installing BookMaster in 1996, and the system has been installed in about 65% of all B&N stores. By the end of this year's second quarter, according to the company, all existing B&N and Dalton outlets will either be using the system or will receive Year 2000 upgrades. BookMaster is an inventory-management system with integrated POS features; it uses a proprietary warehouse-based, just-in-time replenishment system.

Also during the first quarter, B&N opened three superstores and closed two. Twenty-three Dalton stores were closed during the period.