Online Sales Plunge, Bookstores Provide Relief for Barnes & Noble in the Recent Quarter

Online sales might be the new global focus but Barnes & Noble's most recent quarter was saved by its bookstores.

On Thursday Barnes & Noble's retail business announced its comparable sales excluding its Nook digital business, climbed 1.3 percent in the third quarter. The book stores of the company continued to keep their strong hold against e-books.

Online sales figure of the retailer dropped 12.5percent due to a botched site re-launch. It's one of the rare examples, to see a company's digital business shrink in today's world. There was a 1.8 percent drop in the company's total sales to $1.4 billion.

Last year in June, Barnes & Noble had said it plans to close thirteen locations but looking at the modest upswing at its physical locations, the retailer said it will close eight stores in the fiscal year. That also marks the least number of closings since 2000. Amazon's fiery growth along with rise in demand for e-books, Barnes & Noble closed many stores in past year. It made a wise move in the 1990s when it chose to go with short leases. The chains number of stores has gone considerably. In 2008, the numbers were 798 which is now
640 bookstores.