Amazon’s Gain Is Barnes & Noble’s Loss? Stores, Nook And All See Holiday Sales Decline

Amazon may have been touting its record holiday sales season, but Barnes & Noble is now reporting the opposite: according to a report released today, the company’s retail businesses, which include the Barnes & Noble bookstores and, saw a 10.9 percent decrease in sales over the nine-week holiday period ending December 29, 2012. Nook sales and were also down.

The retail segment had revenues of $1.2 billion, and the company said the nearly 11 percent decline was attributable specifically to troubles in its brick-and-mortar stores and declining Nook sales. 8.2 percent of the decline was due to lowered store sales  store closures and lower online sales. Sales at stores, excluding Nook products, declined by 3.1 percent compared to last year.

But adding in the Nook sales don’t help the bottom line: B&N also said that sales of the Nook products had dropped as well, with the company noting the “lower unit volume and average selling prices.”  The Nook segment, which includes ereaders, digital content and accessories, had revenues of $311 million during the holiday period – or 12.6 percent down from a year ago. Digital content sales, which include digital books, newsstand, and apps, were up 13.1 percent, however, indicating that at least those who own Nooks are using them to buy content.

The company didn’t break out the sales volume for specific devices, like the Nook HD or Nook HD+, though. In a statement, B&N CEO William Lynch said that the Nook devices got off to a good start over the Black Friday period, but “fell short of expectations for the balance of holiday.”

“We are examining the root cause of the December shortfall in sales, and will adjust our strategies accordingly going forward,” he said. As a result of the holiday declines, B&N now syas that it expects Nook media revenue of approximately $3 billion in 2013.