Without An Adele Album Barnes & Noble Holiday Same-store Sales Fell 9%

By Trey Williams Markets MarketWatch Pulse

Barnes & Noble Inc. on Thursday reported same-store sales during the nine-week holiday period fell more than 9%. On the bright side, online sales were up 2% compared to the same period a year ago and shares of Barnes & Noble were up nearly 6% premarket. The book retailer said its same-store sales drop was due to lower traffic and the decline in popularity of coloring books and artists supplies, not to mention comparisons with Adele's best-selling album last year, which the company said accounted for about a third of the sales decline. Despite the down holiday season the company is still expected to exceed last year's operating profit, due to "strong expense management." Barnes & Noble shares are up more than 26% in the last 12 months, outperforming the S&P 500 Index , up more than 12%.

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