March 8, 2016 Last Updated 2:54 pm

Barnes & Noble Education reports comparable store sales fell 4%, will close Yuzu platform

Troubled digital book platform is to be closed down, with staff and offices closed, company will now work with solution provided by its partner VitalSource

The recently spin off college bookstore division of Barnes & Noble reported 2016 third quarter earnings today. Barnes & Noble Education, Inc. reported that Q3 sales were $518.4 million, down $3.2 million, or 0.6 percent. Comparable store sales decreased 4.1 percent for the quarter.

“Course material sales for the Spring Rush period were adversely impacted by decreased enrollments in two year community colleges,” said Max J. Roberts, CEO of Barnes & Noble Education.

Yuzu-screenThe company also announced that it would be closing it Yuzu, its digital platform, and will be working with VitalSource, a part of the Ingram Content Group. The move will result in the closing Yuzu offices and eliminating staff in both California and Washington.

“Our relationship with VitalSource will provide for a seamless transition with a Yuzu branded product, ensuring students continue to have an excellent digital reading experience and access to a broad digital catalog,” said Roberts.

Nate Hoffelder at The Digital Reader said Yuzu “is a platform which should never have been inflicted on students. It was slow, never worked well, and frequently crashed just when students needed it the most.

Meanwhile, the company announced the acquisition of LoudCloud, a digital platform and analytics provider with products and existing clients in the higher education, for-profit and K-12 markets.

“These actions give us the capabilities to offer digital products that our clients are demanding, improve our competitive position, and positively impact revenue and profitability,” said Roberts. “We expect these transactions to reduce our digital spend from $26 million in fiscal 2016 to approximately $13 million in fiscal 2017, resulting in $13 million of forecasted expense reduction.”


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