The story of Barnes & Noble has gone from bad to worse.
The struggling bookseller cut its full year sales and earnings forecast for the second time in two months on Thursday as it continues to struggle against a declining market for print books and ever stiffening competition from e-commerce giant Amazon.
The company blamed weak foot traffic, the ebbing adult colouring-book craze and the lack of a major CD blockbuster like last year’s “25″ by Adele for a 8.3 per cent decline in like-f0r-like sales during its fiscal third quarter.
The weak sales trend has continued into the post-holiday period and as a result, B&N said it now expects full year same-store sales to drop 7 per cent and consolidated earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation to come in at between $180m to $190m.
This compares to the 6 per cent sales drop and the $200m ebitda the group was forecasting just two months ago and is a leg down from the “low single digit” decline and the $200m to $250m ebitda forecast it gave in November.
B&N is the latest traditional brick-and-mortar retailer to lower its outlook for the year. US retailers, particularly those that still rely largely on foot traffic, are reeling from rapidly changing consumer behaviors in which shoppers prioritise spending on experiences rather than “stuff”, as well as fierce competition from online stores.
The pain was underscored by B&N’s fourth quarter results. Sales fell 8 per cent to $1.3bn in the three months to January 28, while net income came in at $70.2m, compared to the $80.2m recorded in the year ago period.
Shares in the retailer fell 4.5 per cent in pre-market trading.