Barnes & Noble swings to Q4 loss on sharp decline in Nook e-book sales
New York — Barnes & Noble reported on Thursday a loss in the fiscal third quarter, hurt by a 26% decline in revenue for its Nook e-book readers.
The company posted a loss of $6.1 million quarter through Jan. 26, compared to a profit of $52 million in the year-ago period. The retailer blamed the loss partially on charges stemming from weaker-than-expected sales of Nook e-readers during the holiday shopping season.
Revenue fell 9% to $2.22 billion. Analysts had predicted sales of $2.4 billion.
Revenue from the company’s retail unit dropped 10% to $1.51 billion. Same-store sales fell 7.3%. Excluding Nook sales, same-store sales edged down 2.2%.
Barnes & Noble released its results just days after company founder, chairman and largest shareholder, Leonard Riggio, announced plans to offer to buy the physical bookstores and website of Barnes & Noble, but not the Nook unit. On Thursday, the company said it has appointed board members to evaluate a proposal when it is made.
In response to the Nook sales shortfall over the holiday season, Barnes & Noble said Nook is calibrating its business model and has implemented a cost reduction program that the company projects will significantly reduce the related expenses.
“In terms of the Nook Media business, we’ve taken significant actions to begin to right size our cost structure in the Nook segment, while also taking a large markdown on Nook devices in order to enhance our ability to achieve our estimated sales plans in subsequent quarters,” stated William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. “Nook Media has been financing itself since October of 2012 due to the strong investment partners we’ve been able to attract in Microsoft and Pearson. Coming off the holiday shortfall, we’re in the process of making some adjustments to our strategy as we continue to pursue the exciting growth opportunities ahead for us in the consumer and digital education content markets.”
Wal-Mart’s U.S. chief administrative officer to step down
New York — Wal-Mart Stores on Thursday confirmed a report from the Wall Street Journal that its U.S. chief administrative officer, Tom Mars, will step down in March. The company did not give a reason for his departure.
Mars has been with the chain for more than a decade. He served as the chain’s general counsel from 2002 to 2009, and was involved in an investigation into bribery allegations regarding a Wal-Mart store built near the Mexican pyramids, according to company emails released in January by members of Congress, Reuters reported.
ShopKeep POS earns customer service award
NEW YORK — ShopKeep POS was presented with a Bronze Stevie Award for Front-Line Customer Service Team of the Year in the Computer Hardware, Services & Software category at the seventh annual Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service. Other finalists in this category included Rackspace Hosting and nFocus Solutions.
ShopKeep POS was founded in 2008 by Jason Richelson, a former multi-store retailer in NYC, whose keen eye for merchant pain points and needs has influenced how he has built every inch of the company.
"We have the best customer care in the business because we care about our customers and listen to what they are saying," says Jason Richelson, CEO and founder of ShopKeep POS. "It sounds simple but most companies can’t get it right. When you listen to your customers you learn a lot from them. You figure out very quickly what you are doing right and what needs to change."
The company’s merchant onboarding and training process is incredibly simple, allowing businesses to get started in minutes. Once that happens, product updates and feature enhancements are primarily driven by merchant requests and merchants are empowered to provide feedback publicly on the company’s Get Satisfaction community board.
The Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service are the world’s top sales awards, contact center awards, and customer service awards. More than 1,100 entries from organizations of all sizes and in virtually every industry were submitted to this year’s competition, an increase of 10% over 2012. More than 100 members of eight specialized judging committees determined Stevie Award placements from among the Finalists during final judging this year.