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Barnes & Noble holiday comparable sales fall 5.5 percent

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[January 10, 2014]  NEW YORK (Reuters)  Barnes & Noble Inc on Thursday reported a 5.5 percent decrease in comparable sales at its bookstores and on its website over the holiday period, caused largely by a drop in the number of Nook e-reader devices sold.

However, excluding Nook devices and accessories, comparable-store sales declined only 0.2 percent in the nine weeks ended December 28, compared with a much steeper decline in the three months ended in late October, suggesting its main bookselling business was stabilizing.

Revenue for its Nook business, including e-readers and tablets as well as digital books, fell 60.5 percent from a year earlier. Barnes & Noble did not introduce new tablets for the 2012 holiday season while it did so a year earlier.

(Reporting by Phil Wahba in New York; editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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