'Fifty Shades' heats up B&N sales
NEW YORK — Barnes & Noble saw increased sales and a narrower loss for its first quarter thanks in large part to the steamy series, "Fifty Shades of Grey."
“During the first quarter, we continued to see improvement in both our rapidly growing Nook business, which saw digital content sales increase 46% during the quarter, and at our bookstores, which continue to benefit from market consolidation and strong sales of the 'Fifty Shades' series,” said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble.
Barnes & Noble reported that consolidated revenues increased 2.5% to $1.5 billion from the prior year and that consolidated first quarter net loss declined 28% as compared with the prior year to $41 million, or 78 cents per share.
Revenues at the company's retail segment increased 2% to $1.1 billion for the quarter. Comparable-bookstore sales continued to benefit from the liquidation of Borders’ bookstores in fiscal 2012 and strong sales of the "Fifty Shades of Grey" series.
The College segment, which consists of the Barnes & Noble College bookstores business, had revenues of $221 million during this non-back-to-school rush period. Comparable College store sales decreased 2% for the quarter, as compared to the prior year period. College comparable store sales reflect the retail selling price of a new or used textbook when rented, rather than solely the rental fee received and amortized over the rental period.
The Nook segment had revenues of $192 million for the quarter, essentially flat as compared with last year. Digital content sales increased 46% for the first quarter. Digital content sales are defined to include digital books, digital newsstand, and the apps business.