Barnes & Noble Sees Record NOOK Business in ‘Colorful’ Sales Surge

If you don’t believe just big he eReader industry is presenting booming, just ask Barnes & Noble. On Thursday, the venerable book retailer reported record holiday sales for its NOOK business, including devices and digital content.

According to the details provided in the company’s announcement, during the nine-week holiday period ending December 31, 2011, NOOK unit sales increased 70% over the same period last year.

Sales of NOOK Tablet exceeded expectations, while sales of NOOK Simple Touch lagged expectations, indicating a stronger customer preference for color devices.

Digital content sales also grew “briskly” during the same period, the company revealed, increasing 113% on a comparable basis.

Due to the increased significance of the NOOK business platform, the Company is evaluating its reporting segments. The evaluation is expected to be complete by the end of this fiscal year, which may result in reporting NOOK as a separate operating segment.

“We see substantial value in what we’ve built with our NOOK business in only two years, and we believe it’s the right time to investigate our options to unlock that value,” said William Lynch, Chief Executive Officer of Barnes & Noble.

“We have a large and growing installed base of millions of satisfied customers buying digital content from us, and we have a NOOK business that’s growing rapidly year-over-year and should be approximately $1.5 billion in comparable sales this fiscal year,” he adds. “Between continued projected growth in the U.S., and the opportunity for NOOK internationally in the next 12 months, we expect the business to continue to scale rapidly for the foreseeable future.”