Friday, 4 January 2013

Nook fails to save Barnes and Noble

Barnes and Noble, America's biggest book retailer, is in trouble with declining sales of both print books and ebooks through its Kindle-clone ebook reader, the Nook.

"Retail sales from the company’s bookstores and its Web site,, decreased 10.9 percent from the comparable nine-week holiday period a year earlier, to $1.2 billion, the company reported. More worrisome for the long-term future of the company, sales in the Nook unit that includes e-readers, tablets, digital content and accessories decreased 12.6 percent over the same period, to $311 million." (NY Times)

We were very interested to see the Nook being advertised on TV before Christmas, with its differentiator being its unique nightlight feature. Except it's not unique, there's a Kindle with a backlit display too. And a Kobo. And of course, an iPad is nothing but backlit, which would be useful if you could hold the thing up for more than a few minutes at a time.

B&N's Nook has a problem: Amazon's Kindle has been for sale in the UK since 2009. Kindle has a 3 year lead on Nook.

In the UK, you can only buy ebooks for the Nook from WHSmith, however, "Underlying sales at WH Smith have continued to fall in the first 10 weeks of the retailer’s financial year." (FT)

So far, we've seen nothing to slow Amazon's tightening grip on the supply chain...

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