Barnes & Noble reported mixed results for its quarter ended October 29, with sales falling short of expectations but profits surprising on the upside.

Chairman Len Riggio explained the 3.2% decline in same store sales by pointing to the U.S. election, which he also blamed for weak sales in the previous quarter (see "B&N Sees 'Terrible' Retail Environment").  He buttressed his argument by reporting that sales during weekdays were as expected, but sales during TV viewing hours in the evening were down.  He also noted that weekend sales were better than weekdays, which he also saw as supporting his interpretation.

The company’s loss (for its Q2 2017 quarter) was $20.4 million, vs. $27.2 million in the year ago quarter.  Reduced expenses and declining losses in the Nook division were credited with the improvement.

Riggio has been acting on his evaluation of problems after the company fired its CEO and he stepped in (see "Fired B&N CEO Gets $4.8 Million"), pushing in-store inventories back up and adding to the number of booksellers on the floor.

The holiday season will tell whether those changes and the end of the election run-up produce the expected results.