FINANCE

Barnes & Noble narrows loss, digital and Nook sales up 140%

BY Staff Writer

New York City — Barnes & Noble said Tuesday it narrowed its net loss in its fiscal first quarter as sales of its Nook e-book reader and e-books helped offset lower physical book sales. The chain, which recently received a $204 million investment from former suitor Liberty Media, said sales of Nooks, e-books and magazines and other digital content and accessories, rose 140% to $227 million during the quarter.

Barnes & Noble lost net $56.6 million in the quarter, or 99 cents per share, compared with a loss of $62.5 million last year. Revenue rose nearly 2% to $1.42 billion.

"In fiscal 2012, we expect to see leverage as our digital sales growth is projected to exceed the growth of investment spend," said CEO William Lynch.

Same-store sales fell 1.6% at regular stores and 1.8% at college bookstores. But revenue from the web site rose 37% driven by sales of Barnes & Noble’s Nook Color and Nook Simple Touch Reader, as well as digital content.

Barnes & Noble says it expects to get a lift in sales of $150 million to $200 million after former rival Borders, which declared bankruptcy in February and said it would liquidate in July, completes liquidation sales and ends operations.

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FINANCE

Winn-Dixie Q4 income falls 48%

BY Staff Writer

Jacksonville, Fla. — Winn-Dixie Stores said Monday that its fourth-quarter net income fell 48% amid tough competition. The chain attributed the drop to the quarter being a week shorter this year than it was last year.

Winn-Dixie’s net income for the quarter that ended June 29 was $7.3 million versus $14 million in the year-ago period.

Revenue fell 4% to $1.62 billion from $1.68 billion last year. Same-store sales rose 3.2%. Although average amount customers spent per visit rose 3.9%, 0.7% fewer shoppers came in, the company said.

For the year, Winn-Dixie lost $70.1 million, compared to net income of $28.9 million in the prior year.

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OPERATIONS

Zale and Jessica Simpson team up for jewelry line

BY Staff Writer

Dallas — Zale Corp. is teaming up with celebrity Jessica Simpson on an exclusive collection of diamond fashion jewelry. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Jessica Simpson, known as a pop music artist, actress and reality TV personality, has become quite successful in the fashion world. Her Jessica Simpson Collection, which sells shoes, clothing, fragrances and other goods, is said to be worth about $1 billion.

The collection will include rings, earrings, pendants and bracelets and will be sold at Zale stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico. Jessica Simpson already sells shoes, apparel and other items under the Jessica Simpson Collection brand, which is estimated to be worth about $1 billion.

The jewelry is expected to be available at Zales stores, Zales Outlet stores and Peoples stores in October.

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