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Borders holiday sales reach $1.1 billion


ANN ARBOR, Mich. Borders Group today reported that total sales for the nine-week holiday period ended Jan. 5 increased 3.9% to $1.1 billion from the same period last year.

Within domestic Borders superstores, total sales for the period were $755.4 million, which is a 6.5% increase over last year. Comparable-store sales in the segment for the period increased by 2.4%.

Same-store sales in the Waldenbooks Specialty Retail segment increased by 0.2% for the period compared to last year. At $192.2 million, total sales within the segment decreased for the period by 15.6% compared to last year due to the closure of 136 under-performing Waldenbooks stores during the past year.

"We delivered on our promise to improve comp store sales performance this holiday season compared to last year in all of our business segments," said Borders Group ceo George Jones. "Through effective use of our now 23.5-million-member Borders Rewards loyalty program, we increased traffic at superstores and continued the positive sales trends experienced during the previous two quarters. Still, the overall holiday shopping environment was intensely promotional and impacted the bottom line more than we anticipated. As a result, we anticipate fourth quarter consolidated operating earnings per share from continuing operations (excluding non- operating charges and discontinued operations) to be flat to down slightly compared to last year's $1.45 per share (excluding non-operating charges and discontinued operations). Overall, we continue to move forward with confidence in our strategic plan for a turnaround of the company and are encouraged by the progress we are making."

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