Back in January, then-Barnes & Noble CEO Leonard Riggio predicted that a difficult holiday sales season that saw the bookselling giant’s same-store sales drop 9.1% would be in the company’s rear-view mirror by the end of the fiscal year (see "Barnes & Noble Holiday Sales Plummet").  But Barnes & Noble sales for the quarter ended April 29 declined 6.3 percent compared to the same period last year to $821 million, while sales for the year were $3.9 billion, dipping 6.5 percent as compared to the previous fiscal year.  Those numbers were slightly better than expected, but still a big drop.

While then-CEO Riggio, who stepped down on April 27 to become chairman of Barnes & Noble’s board, blamed third-quarter sales declines on the craziness of the national political scene (see "Riggio Lays Out Factors Behind Sales Declines"), newly appointed CEO Demos Parneros  chose instead to focus on moves  made to increase profits by cutting expenses, especially those related to its Nook device, whose sales continue to decline. As a result, the company’s net earnings jumped to $22.1 million for FY17, up $5.3 million from FY16.

As the company looks toward the new fiscal year, the tinkering to reverse declining sales will continue.  Plans to add a new wave of smaller, more focused test stores to the three the company opened in 2016 is part of the strategy.  So is continuing to manage the merchandise mix to emphasize growing categories like games and graphic novels (see "Growth of Geek Driving Sales in Chains").  Barnes & Noble has also been hosting gaming events at its stores (see "Barnes & Noble Hosts Game Events").