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October 28, 1999

Barnesandnoble.com Loses $21.9m on Sales of $49.1m

By CBR Staff Writer

Spare a thought for Barnesandnoble.com Inc, the New York-based internet bookseller which can’t even spend money as fast as bitter rival Amazon.com Inc. The company racked up $49.1m in sales in the quarter ended September 30, 1999, up from $15.6m for the corresponding period last year. Net loss came to $21.9m, compared with $18.6m for the quarter ended September 30 1998 – a drop in the ocean next to the $197m Amazon.com lost over its third quarter 1999. Depending on your point of view, Barnesandnoble.com is either behaving more responsibly with its shareholders’ money than the Seattle retail giant, or not growing its business fast enough.

According to Media Metrix, the site is now the fourth largest e- commerce destination on the web. Over the quarter, it launched a Prints & Posters gallery, appointed Jan Michiel Hessels, Bob Pittman and William Reilly to its board of directors, announced plans to open a national distribution hub in Memphis, Tennessee, late next year and saw its affiliate network grow to reach 228,000. Again, this seems a respectable level of activity until you compare it to the frenzied expansion of Amazon.com over the same period. Ironically, barnesandnoble.com is inviting criticism from analysts and from its own stakeholders that it just isn’t losing enough money.

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