E-book sales dash past traditional books at Barnes & Noble

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E-book sales dash past traditional books at Barnes & Noble
E-book sales dash past traditional books at Barnes & Noble

Barnes & Noble's e-book sales have raced ahead of traditional book sales, and maybe the company's business plan, too.

The bookstore chain said this week that it sold three times as many digital books in its fiscal fourth quarter as it did physical books, and its market share of e-books grew another one to two points in Q4 while Nook-related revenue improved to more than $250 million. B&N also reported a net loss in the quarter of $59 million and revenue of $1.37 billion. Rival Amazon.com said in May that it sold more e-books than printed copes for the first time.

Barnes & Noble could respond to the developments by closing a number of stores. Joseph Lombardi, the company's CFO, noted this week that more than 100 store leases are up for renewal, according to The Wall Street Journal.

That's good news for voracious readers who want a repeat of the major sales at closing Borders locations earlier this year, but obviously bad news for B&N store employees.

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