Barnes & Noble’s Bad Christmas: Nobody Wants a Nook

Barnes and Noble

Barnes & Noble (NYSE:BKS) unveiled predictably lackluster holiday sales results, as the struggling bookstore chain still can’t seem to get consumers interested in its Nook e-reader.

Retail sales at Barnes & Noble’s bookstores and website brought in $1.1 billion in revenue, a drop of 6.6 percent year-over-year, something the store attributed to a 5.5 percent fall in comparable sales and store closures. Results for the company’s Nook segment were even worse, falling 60.5 percent in comparison to 2012′s holiday results and only making $125 million for the nine weeks ended December 28.

Sales of Nook devices and accessories dropped 66.7 percent to $88.7 million due to fewer devices sold and lower prices. Sales of digital content for Nook devices also declined, falling 27.3 percent to $36.5 million.

Before the holidays, Barnes & Noble enlisted 30 Rock actor Jack McBrayer for commercials advertising both the Nook and the company’s brick-and mortar-stores as the perfect place to shop for anyone in the family. It looks as though even the recognizable actor couldn’t convince people to buy Nooks over the holidays.

“Sales in the NOOK segment declined year-over-year largely because during the previous holiday season the company introduced two new tablet products, while no new tablets were introduced this year,” CEO Michael Huseby said in a press release. “Instead, we executed our plan to sell through our existing high-quality devices.”

The news comes just a day after Huseby was named CEO of the company. He formerly worked as the chief executive of Nook Media and was the company’s president. Huseby had been filling in as the company’s president since CEO William Lynch left the company in July.

Early last year, a breakup seemed imminent for Barnes & Noble, as the company’s founder and largest shareholder, Leonard Riggio, made moves to buy the company’s retail segment, which would separate it from the even less profitable Nook division. In August he announced he was abandoning those plans.

The Nook’s failure to compete with more popular e-readers and tablets made by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) and Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) will continue to drag on the company’s financials unless Barnes & Noble can convince people to buy the devices.

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