Summary:

Digital gave Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) a big sales boost from the previous quarter, but not enough to reverse revenue declines or prevent i…

Nook
photo: Flickr / AMagill

Digital gave Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) a big sales boost from the previous quarter, but not enough to reverse revenue declines or prevent its net loss from deepening. The bookseller is currently mulling over a sale of the company and is embroiled in a proxy fight with activist investor Ron Burkle. Barnes & Noble blamed its loss on large legal bills related to the proxy battle. As a result of the legal and related problems, the company cut its forecast by $0.25 per share to a range of $0.25 cents to $0.65 cents per share for the full year. But in terms of its actual marketing, things didn’t seem too bad: total sales were up 21 percent to $1.4 billion; BN.com revenues jumped about 42 percent to $144.7 million, with comparable sales increasing 53 percent. In conjunction with its positive digital results, the company also announced a new hire and a promotion designed to help it increase its focus on e-commerce as in-store sales decline.

Separate from its earnings report, B&N promoted Jamie Iannone as president of Barnes & Noble Digital Products and John Foley has been hired as president of Barnes & Noble eCommerce. We reported yesterday that Foley was leaving IAC (NSDQ: IACI) after 14 years. Most recently, Foley served as CEO of IAC-owned comparison shopping site Pronto and was also heading up Evite and Gifts.com.

Iannone, who joined B&N a year after working for eBay (NSDQ: EBAY), will oversee all Nook e-reader business. In addition to the devices, Iannone will be responsible for software, accessories and retail integration and “experiences.” Iannone will also manage eBooks and digital content as well as striking third-party partnerships.

Foley will manage the BN.com online retail business including books, children’s books, toys and games, music, movies, home and gift items, electronics and marketplace, as well as merchandising, online and search marketing. More details about the personnel shifts here.

Speaking of the Nook, B&N boasted that just nine months since its launch of the e-reader, and one year after it entered the e-book arena, the company has already achieved greater market share in digital books than it has in physical books. Still, that probably has a lot more to do with the fairly limited presence of other e-readers compared to physical booksellers. Much of the device’s sales growth was attributed to the decision in June to cut the price of Nook from $259 to $199, as well as the debut of the Nook WiFi for $149.

In addition to trumpeting its digital triumphs, B&N is also trying to make sure there is a balance between its digital and physical stores. Late last month, as part of its celebration of the Nook

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By David Kaplan

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