Barnes and Noble Nook Education has just reported that in the last quarter they generated $342.8 million, an increase of $48 million or 16.3%. Total sales for the full fiscal year were $1.87 billion compared with $1.81 billion from the prior fiscal year, an increase of $66.4 million or 3.7%. In the last calendar year the company signed new contracts with estimated annual sales of $118 million, representing 38 new physical stores while only closing 20 physical stores, bringing their total store locations to 769. BNC expects to open 23 stores in fiscal 2018, while closing 13 stores.
They signed an agreement with UNISON, a consortium of 22 leading universities, allows us to bring predictive analytic solutions to a wide audience.
Digital expenses including Yuzu and expenses associated with LoudCloud decreased by a $11.2 million for the full fiscal year due to the digital restructuring and lower cost structure associated with the digital restructuring that occurred in Q4 last year.
Courseware was launched, which is a digital solution built on a foundation of open education resources or OER, and is enhanced with content such as quizzes, videos, and self-assessments for students, along with analytics tools that allow faculty to monitor student performance.
For the quarter, their general merchandize sales in comparable stores increased over the prior year by $0.6 million or 0.5% including new stores our general merchandize sales for the quarter were $135.5 million and $571 million for the full fiscal year and continues to be an increasing percentage of our sales which generates higher gross margins.
Higher-margin general merchandise is going to be a continued focus. They launched a online web service called True Spirit, which sells athletic gear and school branded clothing. In 2016 they got 61 different schools to give it a try next year they plan on securing 31.
Barnes and Noble proclaimed that enrollments particularly at community colleges may continue to decrease over the next 12 months.