The last major bricks-and-mortar outlet for role-playing games showed signs of recovery in the third quarter in both books and games.
Barnes & Noble recently released its fiscal results, reporting store sales increased 2% from $1.46 billion to $1.49 billion. Comparable store sales increased 2.8%, on top of a 7.3% increase a year ago. Retail core comparable store sales, which exclude sales of devices, accessories and warranties, increased 4.2% over last year. Overall total sales increased 5% as compared to the prior year, from $2.3 billion to $2.4 billion. William Lynch, chief executive officer of Barnes & Noble, explained:
“In the third quarter, our traffic and sales in stores were the highest we’ve seen in five years. Our physical book sales at our stores increased more than 4% over last year, and our merchandising changes in our juvenile business and our Toys & Games department experienced double-digit revenue growth in the third quarter.”
In light of the increased role-playing games sales reported by ICv2, Barnes & Nobles’ modest increase in games and physical books sales will set the stage for a major push by Wizards of the Coast’s 5th Edition Dungeons & Dragons. The positive outlook for game books should lift all role-playing publishers’ boats in 2012.