E-commerce sales drop 7% for Books-A-Million in 2014

April 29, 2015 02:00 PM

The past year was a period of declining web sales for chain retailer Books-A-Million Inc.


For the year ended Jan. 21, Books-A-Million, No. 476 in the Internet Retailer 2014 Top 500 Guide and soon to be ranked in the Internet Retailer 2015 Second 500 reported:

  • E-commerce sales declined 6.5% to $21.7 million from $23.2 million in 2013.
  • Total sales increased year over year 0.5% to $470.9 million from $468.4 million.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 0.4%.
  • Net income was $3.53 million compared with a net loss of $7.6 million in 2013.
  • The web accounted for 4.6% of total sales compared with 5% in 2013.


Books-A-Million, which operates 257 stores in 32 states and the District of Columbia, didn’t provide much detail on why e-commerce sales slumped but blamed the decline in some part on the sales of electronic reading devices. “Sales of these devices experienced significant declines during the year as a result of increased competition for devices and eBook formats,” the company says in its latest annual report filed last week with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.


For the fourth quarter, Books-A-Million reported:

  • Flat e-commerce sales of $6.3 million.
  • Total sales increased 1.7% $159.9 million from $157.3 million in the fourth quarter of 2013.
  • Comparable-store sales increased 1.8%.
  • Net income was $19.0 million compared with $12.1 million.
  • The web accounted for 3.9% of total sales compared with 4% in Q4 2013.


Books-A-Million is looking to counter falling web sales and weak growth overall by adding such products as toys and games and more children’s books. “A book-rich media environment and continued consumer interest in several pop culture and media-related licenses drove sales increases broadly across multiple departments during the period,” CEO Terrance Finely told analysts on the company’s recent year-end earnings call based on a transcript from




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