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$BKS said that due to improved sales trends experienced over the last few years & the actions taken to increase traffic & conversion, the company closed only 8 stores last year. $BKS intends to unveil its first new store in East Chester, NY at Vernon Hills this Oct. In total, the company plans to test four new concepts stores in US during FY17.
$BKS completed the mergers with Ouachita Independent Bank (OIB) in Louisiana and First State Bank of Central Texas (FSB) that were delayed for nearly four years, effective Jan. 15, 2018. The bank says the deal was finally approved by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and Mississippi banking regulators.
$BKS reported total sales for 9-week holiday period ending Dec. 30, 2017 of $953MM, down 6.4% from the prior year. Comparable store sales also decreased 6.4% for the holiday period and online sales declined 4.5%. $BKS expects comparable store sales to decline in the mid-single digits and consolidated EBITDA of $140-160MM for FY18.
$BKS is interested in smaller stores, irrespective of the product mix inside the store. The company believes its current store base is too big at roughly 26,000 sq.ft. per store and expects the future store format to be smaller than this. $BKS is designing multiple sizes of stores which gives the opportunity to study space productivity options.
$BKS' retail sales decreased 7.3% to $770MM in 2Q18. Online sales decreased on lower promotional activity, Harry Potter and comparisons to the prior year e-book settlement. Non-book comps declined 6.9%. Store traffic declined, while store conversion increased over the prior year.
$BKS reported a net loss of $30.1MM or $0.41 per share in 2Q18 compared to a loss of $20.4MM or $0.29 per share in 2Q17. Total sales were $791.1MM, down 7.9% versus the prior year. Comparable store sales fell 6.3%, with approx. half of the decline attributable to last year's release of Harry Potter and The Cursed Child.
During 1Q18, $BKS's retail sales fell 5.9% YoY to 830MM. Comparable store sales was down 4.9% during the quarter, mainly due to lower traffic from the books categories that was down 2.8% and non-book categories that reduced by 8.8% during 1Q18.
Bookseller $BKS reported 6.6% drop in its 1Q18 sales to $853MM. The results were mainly impacted by lower online and NOOK sales. Net loss however narrowed to $10.8MM, or $0.15 per share, compared to a loss of $14.4MM, or $0.20 per share in 1Q17. Comparable store sales fell 4.9%, due to decline in non-book categories.
$BKS expects comp sales to remain soft early in FY18 and improve at the back half of the year. The company anticipates CapEx to be $100MM compared to $96MM in FY17. This amount includes investments to support merchandising initiatives, new stores, system enhancements and existing store maintenance.
In FY17, $BKS opened three new stores, while closing ten stores, ending the year with 633 retail stores. In FY18, the company plans to increase the number of value offerings, improve store keeping units' productivity, change the existing store layouts and remerchandise select business units in stores.
Retail bookseller $BKS plans to open two test stores later this year. In addition to launching new store formats, Barnes & Noble aims to grow sales in existing stores through a series of sales initiatives. As part of improving the online experience, $BKS has planned for a phased rollout of its desktop and mobile site in the current fiscal year.
In FY17, $BKS reduced costs by $137MM to maintain profitability level. It ended the fiscal year with $64.9MM of debt under its $750MM credit facility. During this period, the bookseller returned $67MM in cash to its shareholders through dividends and share repurchases.
As more customers bought books online, $BKS managed to cut down its losses in 4Q17. Net loss stood at $13.4MM, or $0.19 per share, compared to a loss of $30.6MM, or $0.42 per share, in the prior year. However, total sales fell 6.3% to $821MM, as comparable store sales declined 6.3% during the quarter.