And now I see on the Forbes.com website that the latest Barnes and Noble numbers are downright ugly:
Barnes & Noble just reported a third-quarter loss of $18.4 million, or 34 cents per share, compared with profit of $4.4 million, or 7 cents per share, a year earlier.The family has already decided to cut back on Christmas gifts this year, concentrating only on giving the three little ones a good Christmas, so I was not going to receive the usual B&N gift cards this year anyway. But if this were a more normal year, I might have suggested avoiding the cards after seeing numbers like these and knowing how tough it has been in recent years for even Barnes and Noble and Borders to turn a profit.
Same-store sales fell 7.4% for the quarter. Barnes & Noble said a significant drop-off in customer traffic and consumer spending affected its business in the third quarter. Management says it is taking measures to reduce expenses for the rest of this year and next.
Come to think of it, I don't hear much about Barnes and Noble wanting to acquire Borders anymore.
Just a quick aside - There are two Barnes and Noble stores in my immediate area and I live almost exactly between the two so I shop at both of them on a regular basis. The two stores are a lot alike, of course, but there is one huge difference that continues to irritate me. One store includes almost no fiction in its publishers' remainders section and the other one is filled with it. I really like shopping the markdowns and always get a kick when I find a title that I couldn't afford at full price there in the stacks of cheap books. I even mentioned to the store manager who seems to avoid mark-downed fiction that he was pushing me to the other location but he just "politely" blew me off with some kind of excuse I don't even remember now.
I wonder if it's up to each store manager to determine how much emphasis to give to the publishers' remainders or if there is a Barnes and Noble store policy regarding the books. Anyone know the answer?