Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



Barnes & Noble Should Kill the Nook

Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS  ) may have done it all for the Nookie, but it's clear that the struggling bookseller's plan to matter in a digital tomorrow just isn't going to happen.

Barnes & Noble posted sloppy quarterly results this morning, but the real dagger is how its Nook line is fading in popularity. Nook revenue declined 32% to $108.7 million in the period relative to last year's comparable quarter. 

No one should be shocked by a decline.'s (NASDAQ: AMZN  ) Kindle and Kindle Fire have won this fight, and Barnes & Noble should've known that it was doomed the moment it entered into a battle against the one company that doesn't care about near-term profitability when it wants to penetrate the market. Barnes & Noble has scaled back its Nook initiatives, and the actual 41% decline in device and accessories isn't the jaw-dropping figure here. The real head-shaking metric is the 21% decline in digital content.

Think about that for a bit. Even if Barnes & Noble is selling fewer Nooks, it would still mean a broader base of gadgets in the wild. This is incremental. However, now we're seeing that it's not merely the book superstore chain's inability to compete with Amazon on e-readers or Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL  ) on tablets: Nook buyers just aren't buying content anymore.

It's hard to blame Barnes & Noble. After all, it survived Borders and most of the friendly neighborhood beacons of lit. The Nook could've made it, too, if it wasn't for Amazon's ferocious ways. 

If it had been Apple to enter the e-reader war with Barnes & Noble, the Nook would've had a shot. Apple sells its gadgetry at generous markups, allowing Nook to compete on price without sacrificing margins. Amazon, on the other hand, is ruthless. Teardowns show that it sells many Kindle products near or even below cost. Amazon feels that it can do that, making that back in digital media. Barnes & Noble was never going to be able to match Amazon's reach, especially once we moved beyond digital books to other digital media that Amazon's been selling for years.

Splitting up Barnes & Noble into pieces or selling off subsidiaries has been the relentless chatter for two years, but it's all simply a matter of waiting until the ticking stops. Barnes & Noble's bookstores will eventually be gone. The lingering office-pool bet is exactly how many years it outlasts Blockbuster. However, there's little point in continuing the Nook charade. That game's over. Amazon won. Barnes & Noble lost.

E-readers and tablets aren't the only winners of the mobile revolution
Want to get in on the smartphone phenomenon? Truth be told, one company sits at the crossroads of smartphone technology as we know it. It's not your typical household name, either. In fact, you've probably never even heard of it! But it stands to reap massive profits NO MATTER WHO ultimately wins the smartphone war. To find out what it is, click here to access the "One Stock You Must Buy Before the iPhone-Android War Escalates Any Further..."


Read/Post Comments (1) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On November 26, 2013, at 6:14 PM, melegross wrote:

    It would be a shame for them to stop selling digital content. I have all three stores on my iPad, and have since they first came out. I buy books from all three. That's a lot of books!

    I hate to think that Amazon out someone else out of business using their underhanded tactics.

    But Bezos is as ruthless as Bill gates is.

Add your comment.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2744202, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/29/2016 8:14:02 AM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 10 hours ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,339.24 110.94 0.61%
S&P 500 2,171.37 11.44 0.53%
NASD 5,318.55 0.00 0.00%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/28/2016 4:00 PM
AMZN $828.72 Up +12.61 +1.55% CAPS Rating: ****
BKS $10.91 Up +0.03 +0.28%
Barnes and Noble CAPS Rating: *
AAPL $113.95 Up +0.86 +0.76%
Apple CAPS Rating: ****