Sales of books and magazine fell 5.5% at Books-A-Million in the year ended January 30, to $411 million, according to the retailer's recently filed 10-K report. Earlier this year, BAM reported that total revenue for the bookstore chain fell 1.3%, to $508.7 million. Better performing book segments were fiction, children's, and bargain books. The decline in books was somewhat offset by gains in general merchandise—gifts, cards, and collectibles—and from the “other” segment, which includes music, DVDs, and e-books. In its conference call discussing year-end results earlier this year, BAM executives said they would provide more details about their plans for the digital market, but the 10-K provides no new information.

The document does give a breakdown of BAM's retail and online operation, and during a period when most online retailers are growing, BAM's e-commerce sales fell 5.5%, to $23.8 million, while the bricks-and-mortar segment had a 1.3% sales decline, to $503.3 million (intersegment sales between the two units totaled $18.5 million). BAM attributed the decline in online revenue to the recession and lower business-to-business sales.

During the year, BAM said it spent $3.5 million on advertising after deducting vendor reimbursements of $1.7 million. The company finished the year with 2,800 full-time employees, the same number it had at the end of 2008; the number of part-time employees rose to 2,700 from 2,500.

In March, BAM reported that it paid $3.0 million for a 40% equity stake in Yogurt Mountain, a fledgling retail operation that offers “tart yogurts that cater to the growing trend in healthy foods,” according to the 10-K. There are currently two Yogurt Mountain stores, and the company hopes to open additional stores as well as sell franchises.

Books A-Million Sales by Segment

February 2, 2008 January. 31, 2009 January. 30, 2010
Source: books-a-million 10-k
Books and magazine 83.8% 82.4% 80.9%
General merchandise 7.7 8.1 8.7
Café 4.4 4.2 4.2
Other 4.1 5.3 6.2
Total 100.0 100.0 100.0