A sad holiday tale from Barnes & Noble

National / World
Barnes and Noble Holiday Sales_499921

FILE – This Aug. 31, 2017 file photo, shows a Barnes and Noble Booksellers store in Pittsburgh. Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. tumbled Friday, Jan. 5, 2018, a day after the bookseller announced that sales at established stores and online sales fell during the key holiday period. (AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar, File)

NEW YORK (AP) — Shares of Barnes & Noble are tumbling after airing some ugly holiday sales numbers.

The beleaguered bookseller said late Thursday that comparable-store sales slid 6.4 percent during the crucial nine-week period ending Dec. 30.

Most retailers have strengthened digital operations and their sales have followed. At Barnes & Noble, however, online sales dropped 4.5 percent.

Amazon.com is winning over more people each year to its Prime membership program, at one point handing out trial memberships to 4 million people in one week this holiday. That’s proven devastating for Barnes & Noble, where overall holiday sales fell 6.4 percent, to $953 million. The Seattle-based Amazon has also opened 13 physical bookstores so far.

Consulting firm Bain & Co. says that Amazon should account for half of holiday 2017 holiday sales growth.

Barnes & Noble says trends of improving sales leading into November began to fade by December.

Shares of Barnes & Noble Inc. fell more than 14 percent, to $5.57 in afternoon trading. That was the lowest point since 1994.

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This story has been corrected to show that Amazon has opened 13, not 12, physical bookstores so far.

Copyright 2020 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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