UPDATE 2-Barnes & Noble sales fall for 5th straight quarter

Wed Sep 9, 2015 1:32pm EDT
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* First-quarter revenue falls 1.5 pct

* Net loss widens to 68 cents/share

* Shares fall as much as 16.6 pct (Repeats to fix formatting with no changes to text)

By Ramkumar Iyer

Sept 9 (Reuters) - Barnes & Noble Inc, the largest U.S. bookstore chain, reported a decline in sales for the fifth successive quarter as lower demand for its Nook tablets and online books compounded a protracted slump in sales at its stores.

The company's shares fell as much as 16.6 percent on Wednesday.

In recent years, stiff competition from online retailers such as Amazon.com Inc has eaten into sales at Barnes & Noble's bookstores and gutted demand for its Nook e-readers.

Despite bold measures to sell a variety of merchandise at its stores - including toys, signed books and craft brewing kits - sales at the company's retail division fell 1.7 percent to $939 million in the quarter ended Aug. 1.

Sales at its Nook business fell 22 percent to $54 million.   Continued...