The biggest news today is that Barnes and Nobles latest quarterly report is out, and it’s not good. Apparently sales for the Nook and Nook-related content have dropped sharply, almost 26% since the preceding quarter. Coupled with the recent news that the company is looking to close 20 stores over the next decade and that chairman Leonard Riggio is planning a retail bookstore buyout, it’s hard not to be a little disappointed that things aren’t going better for the only major bookstore chain in America.
So what can we expect from Barnes and Noble in the near future? As Wall Street Journal reports:
Chief Executive William Lynch, acknowledging that “larger technology brands have more resonance in the multi function tablet market than we do,” said that Barnes & Noble has “to change.”
Speaking on a conference call with analysts Thursday, Mr. Lynch said, “We are committed to the tablet and e-reader market, but we have to address some of the perceived consumer shortfalls in our ecosystem. We aren’t going to continue doing what we’re doing. We’re going to adjust quickly. ”
He gave few details, other than disclosing cost-cutting efforts and plans to enter into more partnerships so that the chain can build its e-book business—even without growth in device sales. A Barnes & Noble spokeswoman declined to comment on whether it would license the Nook software to other device makers.
Mr. McQuivey suggested that Barnes & Noble will now to have to bolster efforts to inform consumers that they can access Nook content on most other major devices, including the new iPad Mini. Barnes & Noble “can’t sell devices fast enough to sustain that business, so they need to take advantage of other company’s devices by winning customers for content purchases,” he said.
Speaking as someone who owns a Nook and enjoys it greatly (unlike the Kindle, you can upload outside ebooks from websites like Project Gutenberg) and who doesn’t want to see any more big bookstores closing, I’m definitely saddened by this news. Traditionally printed books aren’t going to be going away permanently, of course, but we certainly don’t want to see more stores closing, particularly in rural areas that are already starved for lack of brick-and-mortar bookstores.
What do you think of this development? Let us know in the comments!