June 25 - Barnes & Noble's NOOK unit makes disappointing $776 million last fiscal year as plunging sales for the bookseller's digital and retail divisions point to more pain ahead. Conway G. Gittens reports.
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Your Daily Digit today is $776 million.
That's how much Barnes & Noble's digital business NOOK made in fiscal year 2013.
It's not an impressive number, pushed down by slumping sales of tablets, e-books, accessories, and slashed prices.
Falling sales for the unit lead to skyrocketing losses company-wide for the fiscal year and the quarter.
Barnes & Noble, the largest U.S. bookstore chain, has been in a tough and costly competition for the digital market with deep-pocketed Amazon, Google and Apple. In that fight, it lost almost half a billion dollars last fiscal year, and had to repeatedly cut prices to try to attract shoppers.
To contain those losses, Barnes & Noble will produce and market its tablets in partnership with a manufacturer it doesn't want to identify, and it will continue to develop its e-readers itself.
But the NOOK business is not the only problem.
Sales are falling in Barnes & Noble's retail division. One bright spot is college books - unit sales rose 7.5 percent.
Not enough though to stop Barnes & Noble from predicting a drop in total sales this fiscal year.
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