Books-a-Million is the latest bookstore chain to report financial results, and the news in not good. Net sales in its quarter ended November 1st declined 5.7% versus the same quarter in 2007, and the key indicator of same-store sales was down a 9.9%, a steeper drop than the 7.4% reported by Barnes & Noble for its quarter ended September 30 (see “B&N Q3 Loss Bigger Than Expected”), but an improvement over BAM’s previous quarter, which saw a drop of 10.4% in same-store sales (see “GNs, RPGs Bright Spots at BAM”). .
In her response to the gloomy quarterly report Books-a-Million CEO and President Sandra B. Cochran concurred with statements by Barnes & Noble CEO Leonard Riggio and Hasting’s CEO John Marmaduke (see “Hastings Echoes Barnes & Noble”) about the difficult economic climate for bookselling and placed the blame on the overall economy: “Results for the quarter were clearly disappointing," Cochran said. "We faced dramatic macroeconomic headwinds, and as a result we experienced our weakest comparable store sales in many years.”
The only bright spots that Cochran found were in the categories of bargain books, gifts, and books for teens.